STAR WARS BOUNTY HUNTERS #2 jumps right into the action with the competing bounty hunters racing to be the first to find Nakano Lash. Will they kill each other before they get to Nakano? Let’s find each out?
How did we get here?
In issue #1, a group of bounty hunters disbands and scatter throughout the galaxy after one of their own (Nakano Lash) seemingly betrays them and kills the gangster who hired them. (Click here to read the review of Star Wars Bounty Hunters #1). Many years later, Nakano Lash has resurfaced, and the bounty hunters, each with a score to settle, race to be the first one to find her.
Lee Bermejo turns in another stellar piece of work with the cover. Bermejo’s composition is dynamic, and his textures are painted with precision. Every detail, from the laser blasts whizzing by to the folds on Boba Fett’s cape, are painstakingly rendered. I’m a stickler for lighting and shadows, and Bermejo captures the effect of the background explosion expertly.
Ethan Sacks picks up the story almost immediately where the last issue left off. Each bounty hunter picks through clues and follows trails using their own, often violent and brutal, methods. Sacks’ approach cleverly gives each bounty hunter a bit of personality when he shows how differently they each go about chasing down the same prey.
There’s lots of action in this issue. The bounty hunters kill off anyone who gets in their way, and there’s a bit of a bonus with a flashback scene showing how Valance the cyborg first joined up with the team.
Sacks doesn’t address two plot points that have been missing since the first issue: Why did Nakano Lash kill the gangster who hired them? Why does T’onga blame Nakano Lash for her brother’s death?
Without those answers, there’s a lack of emotional weight to the chase. Nakano Lash killed the boss for a reason, so if that reason is not clear to the audience, the revenge chase comes across as unearned. Sacks must answer those questions soon to keep the reader engaged with this series.
Arif Prianto does an excellent job on coloring duty. As with Bermejo’s cover, Prianto pays a lot of attention to using shades of color to create texture and depth. Sometimes, Prianto can get a little carried away with the shading such that you can’t tell where the light is coming from, making the scene look a little busy.
Also, Prianto uses a lot of muted earth tones in this issue. That works when giving most scenes a dusty, dirty feel, but it lacks pop, and surfaces tend to blend. Prianto could improve this by using less neutral colors.
Overall, these are minor quibbles with the coloring, and the issue is generally beautiful.
Travis Lanham covers lettering with this issue and does something a less capable artist struggles with. Lanham knows how to get out of the way.
The issue has easily 5 to 6 panels per page. For each panel to work, the art has to come through WITH the lettering without getting crowded out BY the lettering. That’s not an easy thing to do when there are so many small panels, some overlapping others. Lanham’s lettering compliments each tightly packed panel instead of overpowering it to let the art shine through.
There’s not much to really say about Paolo Villanelli’s artwork. Each character looks like it’s pulled straight from a Star Wars film. Each droid is authentic to the setting. Every ship looks like something you’d see in a Star Wars battle. Villanelli could improve the artwork just a little more by pulling back on some of the panels. There’s an awful lot of panels packed onto each page, which helps to move the eye long quickly, but it can look a little crowded at times. Again, this is a minor quibble.
Favorite panel/page: Page 11 is the winner for this issue for its sheer difficulty. It’s an infrared drawing of Boba Fett in a firefight. In less capable hands, the scene would be completely washed out with all the reds. Here, the image is clear and exciting. A testament to the entire art team working together for maximum results.
STAR WARS BOUNTY HUNTERS #2 is a solid entry in this story arc. The pages are action-packed, and each bounty hunter gets to show off their skillsets. There are still some lingering plot questions that diffuse the emotional weight of the story that Sacks needs to address, but otherwise, this is a great issue.
Writer’s Note: Local Comic Shops (LCS) are going through a tough time right now with the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19. Comics fans of every flavor that care about his or her LCS should try to do what they can. So, here’s my part:
If you’re in Northern Delaware, South East Pennsylvania, or Southern New Jersey area, please take a moment to visit Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, DE. Say ‘hi,’ pick up a book, order a book (they’re on Comichub.com), and let them know you support them.
If you’re nowhere near that area, please find YOUR LCS using Comic Shop Locator and lend your support.
Thanks, and stay safe.