STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #3, available from Marvel Comics on June 24th, pits Bossk against Valance in a battle to the death for Nakano Lash’s location. Ethan Sacks’ story picks up right in the middle of the action from issue #2 (read our review here), with the two bounty hunters locked in mortal combat. Paolo Villanelli’s art brings the story to life with an action-heavy issue that answers the key question about Nakano Lash’s betrayal: Why?
Lee Bermejo’s cover stands as a strong representation of this issue’s central conflict. With the exception of a few sub-plot panels and the big reveal at the end, it’s all Bossk and Valance duking it out. Bermejo’s art is strong realism with excellent us of texture. Bermejo’s signature style captures the little bumps and curves that bring a character to life, and that style is on full display with the cover.
Writing [No Spoilers]
Now we’re cooking with Midachlorians!
Ethan Sacks put together a fast-paced, knock-down, drag-out fight between Bossk and Valance. Rather than a simple blaster battle, Sacks used the opportunity to showcase how Valance’s cybernetics give him an extra edge as a bounty hunter with some “I didn’t know he could do that” moments.
Meanwhile, we get a little flashback action showing how Nakano Lash assembled the team she would ultimately betray. Flash forward to now, and we finally (partly) get the answer to why Nakano Lash killed the team’s client and went into exile. Valance is already positioned as the series anti-hero protagonist, so it will be interesting to see what Sacks will do with the characters once Valance learns of Nakano’s secret.
Paolo Villanelli deftly handles the action in this issue with expert execution of momentum. Valance’s cybernetic fist slamming into Bossk’s jaw. Valance getting flung backwards into a wall. General Vukorah mercilessly gunning down the spice smugglers. Nearly every panel is a visual feast of deadly speed and momentum with things hitting things. Villanelli’s action art practically crackles with energy.
On the flip side, the quiet, conversational moments with Nakano Lash, as she plans to make her return, are filled with deep, deep shadow. Villanelli’s choice to reserve the deep shadow for Nakano’s scenes heightens the dramatic effect of her conversations that separate it from the main story with Valance, and it heightens the mystery of the changes that have happened to her since she left.
Arif Prianto’s coloring style is highlighted best in the light sources: lens flares, sunbeams, explosion bursts, and cybernetic eyes. Every light source glows with brightness and heat, giving the action sequences more energy on top of Villanelli’s dynamic art.
Travis Lanham’s lettering excels in complimenting the art and coloring with excellent use of contrast. The explosions are big and bright, so the bombastic and heavily-bordered lettering accentuates the SFX rather than getting lost in the visuals. Lanham’s lettering is impact on top of impact, which makes every panel feel bigger.
STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #3 unveils the answer to a lingering mystery and turns the action up full blast. The art is exciting, and the story engages the reader equally well in both action and dialog. The story is finally kicking into high gear, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.