Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Paul Mounts
A star wars book is a tricky thing, trying to balance the familiar and the new. Stick to close to the familiar and you are constrained by what has happened before and what must happen next. Stray too far into the new and you risk losing your connection to the source material. I think with these Star Wars books it is better to err on the side of the new. These books shine when we expand the universe out and focus on some of the things only hinted at on screen. You want the same musical chords, but arranged in a new way to make a new song by your favorite band.
Here we get just that – Lando is the anchor that ties us into the larger world. Soule hits all the right notes – this sounds like Lando, and acts convincingly enough like the Lando we know, but in an entirely new situation. A particular gem of this series is Lobot, a minor background character fleshed out and given new depth. Each of these characters is brought to life in a compelling way through Soule’s writing and Maleev’s art.
There is an especially well “acted” scene where a character stares deeply into a Sith artifact, as the formally main charcter recede further and further into the background as the “camera” essentially moves into a tight close up where we see a communion and conversion to The Dark Side. I was reminded, even before the action that revealed the transformation, of Nietzsche’s famous warning “If thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”
All of thus in a pretty damned good heist story and mystery – with spaceships, aliens and lightsabers. We are left with what amounts to a series of betrayals, revelations and a sense of too many opposing goals and not enough time left to achieve them all. Choices will have to be made, and those will have consequences. That to me, is the mark of a good tale – the scene is set, the players known and even though I know where the main characters end up next, I have no idea what will happen to them in the movement from here to there.