I actually really like the idea behind these figures. This coming year is all about the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, not just it's release as a film, but as the beginning of a cultural phenomenon that continues to this day so putting out action figures based on the original comic book representations of these characters is just one more facet of the overall Anniversary. As someone who is old enough to remember buying the original Marvel run every month, I think the day-glo retro '70's look is just plain fun. Marvel had to take some liberties with the stark black and white imagery to make it more dynamic for the 4-color page and also the lack of good reference material available to them at the time (the writer and artist doing the original adaptation were only shown an early workprint of the film- complete with the long lost Tattooine Biggs and other misisng scenes- and then given a black and white press book as their only references). If I didn't already have my mint copies of the original books, I'd probably grab the sets just for the comics (even recent reprints of these books are not all that cheap) and the figures are a bonus.
Before everyone goes all gloom and doom, look at the second assortment- 3 never before made figures and (most likely) only a single repaint. The 3 never before made figures are actually ones that fans have been asking for for years now. I'm sure we will see some more never before made figures (both from the Marvel run and more modern books) if this line continues. My guess is that this line will be used to sell figures that have been in development but that Hasbro was unsure about their retail potential as they are from sources that not everyone knows (Vos particularly has been rumored to be "in production" for quite some time). The EU is not known by everyone, but at least Hasbro is showing that they do have some level of appreciation for all of the different types of people that buy their products.
Hasbro has said that there will be no less than 12 of these sets next year. I bet that they will do Marvel issues #3-#6 to finish out the first film (this is a no-brainer and only brings the total of sets to 8, leaving 4 to go) and then move on to other (hopefully original) characters. With the overwhelming number of EU characters that were in the top 25 Fans' Choice poll, Hasbro knows that there is a demand for figures from beyond the films. Luckily, alot of the EU characters have appeared in the comics making it easier for Hasbro to have a vehicle to get them into fans' hands as I'm sure that "Novel Packs" would be alot more expensive to make, take up alot more room on the racks, and might actually turn people off since they cannot actually "see" the character they are buying unless Hasbro commissions a special cover with the figures featured on it anyway.
My only real hope is that by the time they get to "original" characters of Marvel's creation (and the Dark Horse characters- which should be fairly realistically colored anyway thanks to the much more modern style in which the DH books are done), they do them in the realistic fashion that the regular basic figures are done in so that I can pick them up and add them to my diorama. I can see doing the movie characters in the comic colors or else there is really no reason to do the Comic Packs except for giving today's kids cool reprints of long unavailable, just plain fun books. If they don't and the "original" characters are done in comic colors, then I'll just have to repaint them in their real world equivalent colors, that's all. No complaining, no crying, just alittle time with a paintbrush
BTW- Tarken would make an awsome Hydra Officer (or Troopers in multiples with a masked head!) for any "Marvel Legends Showdown" collectors!