Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Paolo Villanelli
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
This one’s for the scum and villainy.
In Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1, writer Ethan Sacks and artist Paolo Villanelli begin the classic tale of a job gone bad and the revenge that follows. And as the title suggests, you won’t find Jedi battling Sith in these pages. This one’s all about the bounty hunters. Three, specifically: Boba Fett, Bossk, and (recently re-canonized) Valance the Hunter.
The first thing about this book: it’s just plain cool.
Boba Fett’s mysterious ethos has suffered at the hands of the prequels and cartoons. But this book recaptures the caped coolness fans fell for in 1980. Villanelli introduces Fett with a page all to himself, flames bursting from his wrist-mounted flamethrower, armor scuffed, cape billowing. It is, for lack of a better term, bad ass.
The second thing about this book: it really ties the canon together. Not really in terms of plot, but in terms of detail. This is the rare story that makes the comics, the movies, the shows—even the theme park—really feel like one universe. The bounty hunters use bounty pucks ala The Mandalorian. One character even references Lady Proxima (the talking worm lady from Solo, if you’re not up on your canon). We even get some guests from other Marvel Star Wars titles that I won’t spoil here.
If I have a major criticism, it’s clarity. The opening pages lay out the backstory that fuels the main conflict, but it’s a shotgun blast of new names and characters. If you’re not keeping careful track, you’ll get lost. I read this section twice to get the details straight and figure out what actually happened.
Of course, there’s the old writing adage of “show don’t tell,” but I could have stood a little more “telling” here. Who are these characters? Why are they here? What is this job exactly? Some of this might be intentionally shrouded in mystery, but that wasn’t clear to me at first. I assumed I missed something.
But if you love the seedy underbelly of the galaxy far, far away, you’ll have fun with this book. Despite the initial confusion, it really kicks into action and reminds you what made bounty hunters cool in the first place.
The current ongoing Star Wars titles set a high standard. Several have become must-reads for me as a Star Wars fan. I don’t know if this book will do that, but I’m sure it will be a fun ride.