Jabba Comic Books from Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse Comics did four one-off comic books featuring Jabba as the main character in 1995 and early 1996. The titles are “The Hunger of Princess Nampi,” “The Gaar Suppoon Hit,” “The Dynasty Trap” and “Betrayal.” The stories are only loosely connected to each other, and all show Jabba’s life as a crime lord before the events of the Star Wars movies (or at least before Return of the Jedi). None of the Star Wars characters make an appearance.
Through these comics we get a glimpse of what Jabba’s past was like. I’m not sure these would be considered canon, but I love how Jabba is shown to be a cunning and ruthless figure. In Return of the Jedi, he is overconfident and too easily outsmarted, but the Jabba in these comics is a force to be reckoned with. In “The Gaar Suppoon Hit” there is a great sequence where Jabba and Gaar, in the guise of some “friendly” negotiations, keep revealing double-cross after double-cross until one side finally takes the upper hand (spoiler alert: it’s Jabba!)
In “The Dynasty Trap” we see Jabba being much more active than I might have thought possible, killing several people with his bare hands (and body). He even, gulp, swallows someone whole, which I’m not entirely sure I buy.
“The Hunger of Princess Nampi” is not my favorite, since it features the somewhat bizarre looking Princess Nampi, but it does have my favorite line of all of the comics: “Vench my skug, we’ve been farkled!” I’m going to have to start saying that.
Finally, in “Betrayal” we see Bib Fortuna’s attempt to betray Jabba and take over (with results that you can probably predict).
One thing I love about these is that since they predate the “improved” Jabba design that George Lucas has been pushing on us ever since he released the “Special Editions” of the films, they use the original Return of the Jedi Jabba. They’re able to have Jabba convey a wide range of emotions without turning him into a cartoon character like they did with the CGI version.
The stories were also reprinted in a compilation called “Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal” (which I also use as reading copy, since I want to keep these comics looking nice).