reflection

Charles Soule expands on the crevices of untold Star Wars stories with an exciting opening issue that brings back some long gone characters, all with stellar work by the visual team.
Writing/Plot
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters

Review: The Hunt For A Frozen Nerfherder In STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS #1

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Writer Charles Soule and artist Luke Ross, with colorist Neeraj Menon, and letterer Travis Lanham, bring us a new tale from the Galaxy Far, Far Away with badass action and surprising character twists in “Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters” #1. Soule and the art team craft an opening issue that fuses the audience’s love for nostalgia with genuinely excellent storytelling and visual work that plants us firmly in the copilot seat for this deadly adventure – and brings back some almost forgotten characters in brilliant and surprising fashion.

“The notorious bounty hunter BOBA FETT has finally landed his greatest prize – HAN SOLO, frozen in carbonite for easy transport. Fett will bring the smuggler to TATOOINE to collect the massive bounty placed on Solo’s head by the fearsome crime lord JABBA THE HUTT. Sounds easy. What could go wrong?”

Writing & Plot

In all of his work on Star Wars, Charles Soule has demonstrated a practiced handle on being able to take known concepts and characters in this universe and being able to expand upon them with new yet familiar material that always feels like it belongs. The same goes for “War of the Bounty Hunters” #1. Taking place right where we last left the legendary Boba Fett after the “War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha” prelude, this issue continues fleshing out the tumultuous story of our favorite Beskar-clad bounty hunter trying to bring the newly-frozen Han Solo back to Jabba the Hutt. Where on the one hand I do get a bit tired of seeing creators constantly just filling in gaps in the already hugely popular timeline of the main film saga (which is why The High Republic is such a blessing), when Soule writes these tales, it still feels as fresh and adventurous as the first time I sat down and watched those first films. Soule neatly lines up new and classic characters in ways that please fans, but manages to keep the stories fresh by way of the machinations in the plot itself. Soule treats Star Wars like an infinite box of Legos, taking the same pieces and rebuilding them into forms we haven’t seen before. I obviously can’t get into spoilers, but the big reveal at the end of the issue for who was responsible for hijacking Solo’s frozen body left me stunned and intrigued. Soule once again nails the gig, with an opening chapter that is engaging, mysterious, and wonderfully badass.

Art Direction

Marvel’s Star Wars comics have had a reputation these past few years for detailed and gorgeous visual work. As one might guess, “War of the Bounty Hunters” #1 is no different. Luke Ross provides pencils that offer great fluid animation and character detail to keep the reader planted in the story. The visual pacing he provides sweeps us along for the duration of the story with a straightforward but exciting direction that channels the suspense and action in this comic superbly. The thin pencils allot for considerable complexities in facial features and architectural detail, even if this same style can occasionally cause some images to be a bit faint. This is backed up however by the colors of Neeraj Menon, whose light but massive palette brings this comic to interstellar life. The more understated, lighter tones aren’t quite as vivid as those seen in many other Star Wars comics, but they work perfectly well for this underworld-focused tale. Travis Lanham’s letters are solid and focused, using a slightly stylized font and great special effect work to craft this comic’s reading experience. This is a sharp looking star wars book, with a style that fits the characters and story it follows.

“Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters” #1 is an exciting blast of an opening chapter, chock full of double-crosses and genuine surprises that will be sure to please any fan of the franchise. Charles Soule’s script takes the ingredients we are all familiar with and mixes them into a configuration that is undoubtedly Star Wars but still gives us something new and fresh to chew on. The visual work of Luke Ross and Neeraj Menon is a bit understated, but works damn well for this comic. Be sure to grab this issue when it hits shelves on 6/2!

Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.