In an unique marketing move, Dark Horse Comics is now offering a limited edition variant of the recently announced Barb Wire debut issue -- but for a price... and what may seem for some to be retailiation.
Dark Horse announced that comics retailers can get an "ultra-rare" Barb Wire #1 variant featuring a new Adam Hughes illustration if they send in the covers to twenty copies of Marvel's recent Star Wars #1. If you remember, Dark Horse held the Star Wars license for two decades, with it being moved to Marvel after LucasFilm was purchased by Disney. The loss of the Star Wars license was a major blow to Dark Horse, as it was a pillar of their line with multiple ongoing series and numerous backlist items.
The message, according to Dark Horse's press release, is "don’t f*** with Barb Wire."
Keep in mind however that this announcement occurred on April 1 -- April Fool's Day. That being said, when Newsarama contacted Dark Horse they offered no comment on the veracity of this press announcement and whether the publisher would, or would not, honor this announced promotion.
Marvel's Star Wars #1 has over one million copies in circulation over six print runs, so if Dark Horse does indeed honor the promotion there would seem to be copies readily available.
Newsarama reached out to Marvel for comment, but has not received a response.
An interesting, and possibly disconcerting wrinkle to this press release is the mention of a second offer:
Additionally, in a related promotion for the recently announced King Tiger miniseries, Dark Horse is planning to present a fully grown Bengal tiger to one lucky fan," says Dark Horse's press release. "The tiger, whose name is King (naturally), is a three-year-old male, nine feet, nine inches in length, and weighs approximately 470 pounds. (Please note: tiger refuses to wear crown.)"
Giving a live animal, let alone one that is highly dangerous and illegal to possess in many states and countries, is somewhat alarming. When Newsarama asked Dark Horse about this teased offer, Aub Driver re-itterated that today is April 1 but would give no other comment.