Ahead of the release of The Force Awakens next month, Castle Fine Art in Canary Wharf has got its hands on six limited edition Star Wars Marvel comic book covers signed by Stan Lee himself.

Marvel’s Star Wars series, published between 1977-1986, was the first official comic book adaptation of the sci-fi saga and proved a phenomenal success on its release.

Translated into limited edition art for the first time, the works pay tribute to some of the story’s most memorable characters – Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia – who make an appearance in the new film – as well as Darth Vader.

Each piece of artwork is hand signed by Stan Lee, 92, who led the expansion of Marvel comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation, joining forces with George Lucas to produce a series of Star Wars comics after the huge success of the first space-fantasy film on screen.

With film experts predicting The Force Awakens will exceed all previous global box-office openings, the popularity of the Star Wars franchise – and demand for Star Wars products – continues to grow.

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Michelle Poole, gallery manager for Canary Wharf’s Castle Fine Art Michelle Poole said: “Our Marvel artwork releases continue to be best sellers for Castle Galleries and we expect this series of signed limited edition works to fly off the shelves.

“This collection of iconic comic book covers celebrates one of the most famous film franchises of all time and encapsulates the battle between good and evil which both Star Wars and Marvel are recognised for.

“It will appeal to both art collectors and fans of Star Wars alike – giving people a chance to own their own piece of comic book history.”

It is rumoured that creator of Star Wars George Lucas initially approached Stan Lee in the mid-1970s when the first film was in production. He charged some of Marvel’s greatest comic book illustrators to work on the Star Wars series – including Carmine Infantino, Walt Simonson and Al Williamson.

The new collection consists of six images available in both boxed canvas (edition of 195) and giclée on paper (edition of 295). Prices start from £695, and portfolio sets are also available.

The Star Wars Marvel collection

Star Wars #4 - In Battle With Darth Vader

Cover art by Rick Hoberg, a comic book artist from Belton, Texas. He inked a few Marvel Star Wars issues and also did some covers for the title. He started in the comics industry in the mid-1970s assisting Russ Manning on the early Star Wars and Tarzan newspaper strips.

Star Wars #23 - Flight Into Fury

Cover art by Carmine Infantino and Bob Wiacek. Carmine Infantino was a comic book artist and editor who illustrated a number of issues in the Marvel Star Wars comic series. Infantino started in comics in 1941 illustrating for Timely Comics and later on worked for DC Comics on such titles as Green Lantern and The Flash. Bob Wiacek is a comic book inker who worked on the Marvel Star Wars series. He alternated inking chores with Gene Day after Terry Austin left the series in 1978 and continued regularly until the Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back adaptation.

Star Wars #41 - The Empire Strikes Back - Imperial Pursuit

Cover art by Al Williamson – a comic book illustrator who worked on the Star Wars daily comic strips, as well as the comic book adaptations for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi published by Marvel Comics.

Star Wars #44 - The Empire Strikes Back - Duel A Dark Lord

Cover art by Al Williamson and Carlos Garzón. Al Williamson is a comic book illustrator who worked on the Star Wars daily comic strips, as well as the comic book adaptations for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi published by Marvel Comics. Carlos Garzón is a comic book illustrator who produced a number of comics in the Marvel Star Wars series. Garzon has worked professionally in comics since 1975 for Marvel and DC Comics. He assisted Al Williamson on his Star Wars comic adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars #52 - To Take The Tarkin (1981)

Cover art by Walter “Walt” Simonson – a comic book creator who was a regular penciler, writer, and cover artist for the Marvel Star Wars series of comics. Simonson’s early professional work was for DC Comics, illustrating war stories in the early 1970s.

Star Wars #68 - The Search Begins

Cover art by Walter “Walt” Simonson – a comic book creator who was a regular penciler, writer, and cover artist for the Marvel Star Wars series of comics. Simonson’s early professional work was for DC Comics, illustrating war stories in the early 1970s.