15th Jun2021

‘Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Charles Soule | Art by Luke Ross | Published by Marvel Comics

Here we are then, the main event. War of the Bounty Hunters has been trailed for quite some time already across the fan press, and we’ve already seen the prelude stuff across the Star Wars, Bounty Hunters, Darth Vader, and Doctor Aphra titles, but this is the book that kicks off the main story for real. It’s a big old ‘event’ as you would expect, running across four titles and several specials until it all wraps up in October. Marvel are putting a lot on Charles Soule’s shoulders with this one. What I particularly like with this storyline is that rather than do the traditional Star Wars thing and write new stories either before or after all the films so as to avoid any potential continuity conflicts, Marvel have dived in and immediately given us the familiarity of a time and place set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I’m guessing the success of The Mandolorian may have started that train of thought, so yet another reason to love that show.

If you’ve missed the Prelude books fear not, this is all a very simple premise. At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, we saw Boba Fett take Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, to Jabba the Hut to claim the bounty on him. This storyline takes place after that event, and before the start of Return of the Jedi. What we didn’t see, according to Charles Soule, is that Han Solo’s frozen body was stolen from Boba Fett on Nar Shaddaa, as others seemingly also want to claim that juicy bounty. Boba is not a happy clone. I’m guessing annoying one of the best bounty hunters in the universe is not the brightest thing you can do. Unless you have a plan. The plan, it seems, is to make the hunter the hunted. Unknown to Boba, one of the biggest bounties ever has just been placed on his head. After a first amateur attempt on him, he finds his ship booby trapped and is double teamed by bounty hunters Zuckuss and For-Elloem.

Boba survives that too, and now realises that he is the target. So who is the client? I’ll give you a glue. He’s big, slug like, and has a penchant for chaining slave girls to himself. Yep, seems Jabba the Hut has put a contract out on Boba as he heard, mistakenly of course, that Boba had sold Han to a different client. While Boba threatens Bib Fortuna to try and get access to Jabba’s palace on Tatooine, Jabba it seems has already opened lines of communication with the people who seemingly have Han’s body. Those people are the legendary organisation Crimson Dawn. Seemingly long gone, they are apparently now back. Why take Solo’s body though? It seems that it wasn’t about Han as such, but more about getting noticed, making a statement big enough that everyone took notice. Actually, wrong. The person in charge is someone that Han knows very intimately. Curiouser and curiouser.

In the best traditions of Star Wars, this was action packed and exciting, with a twist or two along the way and characters big and small making cameos all over the place. Boba is now so much more than just a one dimensional character in a cool costume, and Charles Soule seems the perfect writer to keep building on that. The premise is excellent, not particularly original but always fun, and the various threads spinning outwards seem to promise a lot more to come, and enough to justify such a huge storyline. The art by Luke Ross is excellent, as good as I’ve seen him do.

Boba’s got a great new storyline and not a Grogu in sight.

This is The Way.

**** 4/5


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