Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1
Written by Ethan Sacks
Art by Paolo Villaneli and Arif Prianto
Lettering by Travis Lanham
Published by Marvel Comics
'Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
This first issue of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters pulls out all of the stops as it calls in characters and settings that fans new and old will readily identify, but in the hustle of it, some may find this story attempts to pack in too much into too little space.
The story that Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villaneli, and Arif Prianto tell focuses on three of the baddest bounty hunters in the known galaxy: Boba Fett, Bossk, and Beilert Valance. In this first part of the “Galaxy’s Deadliest” story arc, we see the earlier days of these bounty hunters as they are called in for a job that goes sideways, leading to Valance’s mentor Nakano Lash double-crossing the team and creating some bad blood between all members of the party. Fast-forward to the Rebel defeat at Hoth, and each bounty hunter receives word of Lash’s emergence from hiding… and sets out to exact revenge in their own unique way.
There are a lot of bounty hunters at play in this comic, and given the title of the book, it’d be a bit of a bait and switch to focus on anyone else. That said, Sacks ropes in nearly a dozen rogues and hunters into this 22-page story. No doubt, he has a number of stories planned to come out of this initial arc, but it results in a lot of moving parts with not a lot of depth. For example, we see a bitter parting between Tonga and Losha that clearly aims to offer a more emotionally packed moment in the story; however, we don’t really know much if anything about these characters, as there’s no background offered for their relationship. Hopefully, each bounty hunter will have more time to develop and connect with readers after Sacks finishes setting the table in this initial issue.
The story was not without its more enjoyable elements, though. There were multiple “Oh! Look over there!” moments interspersed throughout. Visitors to the Disney Galaxy’s Edge amusement parks will immediately recognize the Black Spire Outpost, and the cameo from Doctor Aphra and Black Krrsantan offers a fun opportunity to see two fan-favorite hunters go at it as they run into Bossk.
Artistically, Villaneli, and Prianto complement each other well, though it becomes readily apparent which bounty hunters seem to be their favorites. The level of detail in these scenes make those panels in particular far more memorable, and the scenes focusing on Boba Fett and Bossk especially tend to be much more dynamic in nature. Admittedly, Valance does have a bit more of a stock character design (apart from the half-cyborg face), but overall, the artistic team provides a mixture of different page layouts and action shots to keep the story moving forward in a clear, consistent manner.
Overall, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1 won’t necessarily be the next big thing for Marvel Comics; however, it provides readers with something familiar, akin to comic book comfort food – nothing new, but tried and true.