Review – Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #3 (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Charles Soule
Artwork: Luke Ross, David Messina
Colours: Neeraj Menon, GURU-eFX
Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 18th August 2021

Marvel’s latest Star Wars event rumbles on this week with what is by any definition a fairly mouthwatering showdown.  To bring you up to speed, this event, which takes place between Empire and Jedi, features Boba Fett trying to reclaim the frozen-in-carbonite Han Solo from the clutches of Crimson Dawn, all while fending off every other bounty hunter who wants to get their hands on his valuable cargo.

The previous issue saw Fett tracking Solo to a Crimson Dawn event where Qi’ra was auctioning off the frozen scoundrel to a room full of bad guys. After a fierce bidding war, Jabba the Hutt emerged victorious, only for a certain Dark Lord of the Sith to crash the party and stake his own claim.  Oh, and Lando, Chewie and Leia are waiting in the wings to rescue Han, while Aphra and Sana skulk around the room looking for stuff to nick.  So yeah, there’s a lot going on here.

Charles Soule is clearly having a lot of fun with this storyline, bringing pretty much every A-list Star Wars character from the original trilogy (along with some beloved newcomers) together in the same place at the same time for some good old fashioned drama.  This issue certainly delivers in terms of action, although it arguably doesn’t really push the overall story forward all that much – at least until the last few pages.

The artwork, provided here by Luke Ross and David Messia, is faithful to the source material, although it’s perhaps a little sterile for my personal tastes. That said, everyone certainly looks the way they should look without either artist having to lean too heavily into photo referencing (a real bugbear of mine with some other Star Wars comics), and the action flows smoothly, particularly once big Darth decides that it’s time to get physical.

My main criticism with this issue is also one of the most exciting things about it; namely the sheer size of the cast of characters. With all the big name players making their appearance and jostling for ‘screen time’, ol’ Boba seems to fade into the background just a little, and aside from yet another brief display of his impressive combat skills and ingenuity, he feels like a bit of an afterthought here.

However, while it’s slightly disappointing to see Boba Fett effectively becoming a supporting character in what was marketed as his event, there are enough cool moments of excitement and fan service here to keep the pages turning. And, whether it’s an intense exchange between Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt or Boba Fett and Chewbacca going at it hand-to-hand, there should be something here to satisfy pretty much any self-respecting Star Wars fan.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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