The Original Mandalorian

by Jason Short

The-Original-Mandalorian-300x157 The Original MandalorianThe past two years have seen an explosion in price across a wide range of Star Wars-related books.  Disney’s The Mandalorian created a new wave of Star Wars enthusiasm for the franchise, which has led to a renewed interest in the comic books.  Key appearances by Boba Fett and other Mandalorians have caused numerous issues of the original Marvel series to spike in value.  Star Wars #42 is part of the Marvel adaptation of the Empire Strikes Back. It is the first appearance of Boba Fett in comics.  It currently has an FMV of $1,800.  A little over two years later, Star Wars #68, which currently sports an FMV of $625, appeared and lead to speculation that Boba Fett had returned.  Star Wars #68 is often listed on eBay and other sites as the first appearance of the Mandalorian. Some listings call it a re-appearance of Boba Fett. This is not the case.  The man in the Mandalorian armor is Fenn Shysa, the first non-Fett Mandalorian we meet in the Star Wars universe.

SW68-194x300 The Original MandalorianThe Original Mandalorian?

Disney’s The Mandalorian excited Star Wars fans of all ages because we finally got to see a live-action version of a Mandalorian in action.  However, many fans of the original trilogy were left wanting more when it came to Boba Fett.  He arrived cool and mysterious in the Empire Strikes Back only to die lamely in Return of the Jedi.  More Mandalorian goodness is what comic readers received in these first two issues.  Issues #68 and #69 had Leia traveling to Mandalore and teaming up with Fenn Shysa. He wore the same armor as Boba Fett.   This was an interesting development since Fett’s look lost some of its uniqueness.  As Fett wasn’t appearing in comics at the time, however, this was a way to cheat a fan-favorite character into the story.  Shysa appeared six times total, including a reappearance for four issues at the end of Marvel’s Star Wars run.

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Minor Keys

Issue #68 is not only the first appearance of Fenn Shysa, but arguably the character’s high point. It is his first and only cover appearance.  In issues #68 and #69 he is featured prominently. He teams up with Leia on Mandalore, which is also that planet’s first appearance in the comics.  The character is then shelved for almost three full years before fan outcry led to his return.  Shysa appears in issues #99, #100, #101, and #107, the series finale.  Shysa takes part in the last battles before the New Republic comes into being.  Of these minor keys, issues #99 or #100 would probably be the best of the bunch to speculate on. They are the cheapest, mostly due to how scarce the last issues were. Issue #100 has one of the best-looking covers of later-day Star Wars issues, and a low FMV of $95. Issue #99 has an FMV of $60.

SW101-192x300 The Original Mandalorian

More Mandalorian Surprises?

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have defied expectations with the Mandalorian.  From the very first appearance of Baby Yoda, to Stormtroopers and X-Wings, to Bo-Katan, Ahsoka, and even Luke Skywalker, the Mandalorian has delivered.  With the arrival of Bo-Katan, Boba Fett, and other Mandalorians on their namesake tv show, how likely would an appearance by Fenn Shysa be?  Filoni is a font of Star Wars knowledge and is very familiar with all of the history behind it.  An appearance by Fenn Shysa in a live-action format would only further increase the demand for his early appearances.  Issue #68 is already a coveted issue. If the character appears on the Mandalorian, all bets would be off as to how high the book could climb.

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1 comment

steven Centonzo February 16, 2021 - 10:50 am

I have purchased a few Marvel comics Star Wars #16. just in case.

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