“Star Wars: The War of the Bounty Hunters” cannot be the comic that it is without the galaxy’s greatest and feared bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Write Charles Soule (Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: The High Republic) is definitely no stranger to the Star Wars Universe as he has created another thrilling Star Wars arc.
“War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha” takes place immediately after “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” where smuggler and Rebel Alliance hero Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite at Cloud City and is given to Boba Fett to deliver to Jabba the Hutt.
Soule’s writing makes you automatically think that with Boba Fett, everything would go according to plan. Solo is captured for not paying Jabba for his debt. Fett is on his way to a big pay day. This is just Tuesday for our favorite bounty hunter.
However, after communicating with Bib Fortuna about his delivery of the frozen Corellian smuggler, Boba notices that the carbonite slab is starting to decay and he has to take it someplace where he can prevent it from further decaying. Boba travels to the smuggler’s moon Nar Shaddaa to a doctor named Ragon who says he could stabilize the carbonite but for credits upfront.
Boba tries to tell Ragon that he could pay him double the fee but the “good” doctor advises Fett that he does not work on credit. The doctor makes another deal where if Boba culd enter into a fighting tournament and kill a warrior that murdered a prize fighter he betted on, he could get to work on stabilizing the carbonite.
Boba enters the tournament under the alias “Jango,” his father’s name while having his trademark green and brown Mandalorian armor painted black. When Boba eventually fulfils his promise by killing Wyrmen Lictor, the fighter who killed Ragon’s prize fighter, at the tournament.
Once more, Soule wants you to think that things are going to plan for Boba. Kill the fighter and earn money, check. However, Soule throws yet another wrench in the comic as Ragon is murdered by an unknown assailant and two henchmen take away Han’s carbonite slab. Fett returns to find Ragon’s body and Han Solo missing. After being chastised by Bib Fortuna for not delivering Solo as promised, Fett has entered into the war of the bounty hunters.
Han Solo being frozen in carbonite was one of the profound moments in the Star Wars trilogy next to Luke learning that Darth Vader was his father. Originally, Harrison Ford (the actor who portrayed Han Solo in all three films in the original Star Wars trilogy and two films in the sequel trilogy) wanted Han Solo to die a hero in ”Empire Strikes Back.”
However, George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” decided against it. I think it is brilliant how Soule uses Han’s carbonite slab as a device to spark the war of the bounty hunters. I felt that it was also brilliant that he possibly took a tip from Ford’s suggestion by using the carbonite’s unstable matrix as a threat to Solo’s life which creates a chain reaction of challenges for Fett to face.
I also loved how Soule has Boba pay homage to his “father” Jango Fett when he enters into the fighting tournament. It was even more effective when it went hand-in-hand with Steve McNiven’s illustration and Laura Martin’s coloring of Fett’s beskar armor which shows the bounty hunter’s armor painted black to avoid the Kanji hutts from recognizing him.
Boba’s armor being painted black, the memory of holding his father’s helmet after the latter’s death in “Attack of the Clones,” and naming himself “Jango” is a sign of a warrior mourning the death of a man who he considered his father when in reality, he was a clone of him.
Another favorite thing about the art is where Boba is fighting Wyrmen Lictor, who is a spider humanoid. Even for the most deadliest bounty hunter, the panel art done by McNiven and Martin showed that she was a formidable opponent for Fett. You see Lictor using her webs to yank the jetpack away from Boba. You also see her use her spider legs to attack Boba and even at one time, stab him through his beskar armor.
As the “War of the Bounty Hunters” arc kicks off, I have a couple burning questions. What is in store for Boba Fett? Which bounty hunters are we going to see Boba take on over Han Solo’s carbonite slab? Will we see a cameo from Din Djarin, aka the Mandalorian? I am also wondering if we will see some other Expanded Universe characters come back. I feel that the “War of the Bounty Hunters” is the Disney Star Wars version of the popular “Shadows of the Empire” arc.
Like “War of the Bounty Hunters,” the “Shadows of the Empire” takes place between “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” but, it is centered around Prince Xizor, a a Falleen (a reptilian humanoid) crime lord and sinister villain who works behind the scenes to take down Darth Vader while the former Anakin Skywalker is trying to get his son Luke to turn to the dark side.
Will this be a way to reintroduce Xizor and make him fully canon? As of this writing, I just found out that there is a salad named after Xizor in the “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook. And will we even see the smuggler Dash Rendar, Han Solo’s fellow Correllian and friend from the “Shadows of the Empire,” get recruited and jump into the “War of the Bounty Hunters?”
“Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha” is available at your local comic book shop or wherever comic books are sold.
- Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha
- Writer: Charles Soule
- Artist: Steve McNiven
- Colorist:Laura Martin
- Letterer:VC’s Travis Lanham
- Publisher: Marvel
Synopsis: The STAR WARS COMIC EVENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! The notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett has finally landed his greatest prize – HAN SOLO, frozen in carbonite for easy transport. Fett will bring the smuggler to TATOOINE to collect the massive bounty placed on Solo’s head by the fearsome lord JABBA THE HUTT. Sounds easy. What could go wrong?