|Headquarters location||New York City|
|Owner(s)||Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.|
Star Comics was an imprint of Marvel Comics that began in 1984 and continued to publish comic books until 1991. Titles published by the imprint were aimed at child readers and were often adaptations of children's television series, animated series or toys. Several of the original titles consciously emulated the house writing and visual style of then recently defunct Harvey Comics titles such as Richie Rich.
Previously Marvel Comics never had a successful children's line. Before the existence of the Star imprint, Marvel had previously released several miniseries based on licensed toy and cartoon properties, such as the Smurfs and the Starriors. Existing ongoing series, based on other licensed toylines such as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers, remained under the Marvel banner.
In the early 1980s, Marvel Comics was in talks with Harvey Comics to take over publishing some of their characters. Harvey editor Sid Jacobson along with the other Harvey staff were interviewed by Mike Hobson, Marvel group vice-president of publishing (de facto publisher). As part of the process Jacobson created a few new characters which were well received by Hobson. The new creations sealed the deal for Hobson. Jim Shooter thus appointed editor Tom DeFalco as executive editor to coordinate editorially with the Harvey staff. The Harvey staff was hired by Marvel. On the day Marvel was to take over Harvey publications, Harvey Comics pulled out do to the Harvey brothers disagreement over the deal. Harvey would stop publishing their comics in 1982.
The industry standard of an age stepladder of readers moving from the children's publishers Gold Key Comics (Disney and Looney Tunes licensee) and Harvey to Archie Comics then on to Marvel and DC and finally to independents. With Gold Key Comics' children's licenses gone and Harvey out of business, Marvel staff decided to continue the process and fill that step on the reading ladder. With the Harvey character publishing plan was reevaluated and changed such that the new line of all age comics would be published under a different imprint name than Marvel.
Star Comics was the name selected early on in the revamp of the publishing plan. The first comic published was the first issue of a three issue movie adaptation, The Muppets Take Manhattan, in July 1984 with a stand date of November 1984.
The regular line did not appear on the stands until five months later and were launched over a two-month period. Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry and Strawberry Shortcake were released in the first month while The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babbies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham followed in the second month. Top Dog and Wally the Wizard were also early comic titles. Writers and artists for Star Comics included Warren Kremer, Howie Post, Marie Severin, Jon D'Agostino, Angelo DeCesare, Carlos Garzon, Nate Butler, Jacqueline Roettcher, Roberta Edelman, and Bob Bolling. Two former Spider-Man artists were also contributors: Steve Ditko, who provided pencil artwork for Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, and John Romita who did pencil artwork for Star Wars: Droids.
In late 1985 Harvey Comics sued Star Comics for copyright infringement, claiming that Royal Roy was a blatant copy of Richie Rich. Thus the title was canceled after six issues due to this similarity.
Marvel eventually dissolved the Star imprint but absorbed several Star titles under the main Marvel banner such as Care Bears and continued to license new properties, such as The Pirates of Dark Water.
- Air Raiders (1987–1988; #1-2 under Star imprint, continued under Marvel imprint)
- Animax (1986–1987)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987–1989; #1-2 under Star imprint)
- Care Bears (1985–1989; #1-14 under Star imprint)
- Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos (1987)
- Count Duckula (1988)
- Defenders of the Earth (1987)
- The Flintstone Kids (1987–1989; #1-4 under Star imprint)
- Foofur (1987–1988; #1-4 under Star imprint)
- Fraggle Rock (volume 1: 1985- 1986 under Star imprint; volume 2:1988 under Marvel)
- The Get-Along Gang (1985– 1986)
- Heathcliff (1984– 1991; #1-22 under Star imprint)
- Heathcliff's Funhouse (1987–1988; #1-5 under Star imprint)
- Hugga Bunch (1986–1987)
- Inhumanoids (1987)
- Madballs (1986–1988; #1-8 under Star imprint)
- Masters of the Universe (1986–1988)
- Masters of the Universe: The Motion Picture (1987)
- Misty (six-issue limited series 1985-1986)
- Muppet Babies (1985– 1989; #1-17 under Star imprint)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan 1-3 limited series (1984)
- Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham (1985– 1987)
- Planet Terry (1985– 1985)
- Popples (1986–1987)
- Royal Roy 1-6 (1985–1985)
- Silverhawks (1987–1988; #1-5 under Star imprint)
- Star Comics Digest a.k.a. Star Comics Magazine (1986–1988)
- Star Wars: Droids (1986–1987)
- Star Wars: Ewoks (1985–1987)
- Strawberry Shortcake (1985– 1986)
- ThunderCats (1985–1988; #1-24 under Star imprint)
- Top Dog (1985–1987)
- Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987; #1-2 under Star imprint)
- Wally the Wizard (1985– 1986)
Additionally, three Star Comics series were planned yet never published:
- "Commander USA"
- Little Wizards
- Young Astronauts
- Ceimcioch, Marck (December 2014). "Marvel for Kids: Star Comics". Back Issue (77). Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "Harvey Sues Marvel Star Comics, Charges Copyright Infringement," The Comics Journal #105 (Feb. 1986), pp. p. 23-24.
- McMillan, Graeme (January 10, 2013). "Leaving an Imprint: 10 Defunct MARVEL Publishing Lines: Star Comics". Newsarama (Purch Company). p. 10. Retrieved November 21, 2014.