Star Wars: Lando
Reviewed: Issues 1-4
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alex Maleev
Format: 5-issue miniseries
This could easily have been the weak link in Marvel’s everexpanding Star Wars line. A fiveissue miniseries about the lothario gambler and businessman, set before his original introduction in The Empire Strikes Back? Sure, we’ve always known he has a chequered past, but against the high-stakes action and intrigue of the regular Star Wars, Darth Vader and Princess Leia books, it risked seeming small fry.
We were wrong about that. Lando and Lobot (you know, his bald cyborg pal from Empire) take on “one last job...” in an attempt to square their debts with an alien gangster. The mission involves stealing a starship from an apparently unmanned Imperial outpost. It’s all going smoothly until they discover that the ship is the prized possession of the Emperor himself…
Soule’s script does a good job of gradually revealing things. It’s still a comparatively low-stakes story – there are no planets at risk from Imperial mega-weapons here – but #4 has fun with the notion of Sith artefacts being prized collectables and that the Jedi have already begun sliding into myth. The fact that the old Expanded Universe is gone and the new books and comics are now setting the rules adds some real weight. Sure, we know these characters aren’t going to die, but what secrets of the Sith might we discover in the coming issues?
The dialogue feels authentic. And how fun – and tragic – that Lobot gets so much to say here. It’s clear early on that this is the story that will leave him virtually mute.
The hero here, however, is Alex Maleev. His scratchy, shadowy art and Paul Mount’s psychedelic colour palette are quite a contrast to the more straightforward and cinematic approach taken on the main Star Wars book. They perfectly suit the murkier areas of the galaxy that this book is exploring, and it’s gratifying that Marvel isn’t imposing a single house style for its Star Wars range. Will Salmon
“The old expanded universe is gone. might what secrets we discover?”
Not the old blaster under the sheets...!
The governor has an unusual office desk.
Nice place, unless you’re agoraphobic.