Rating: 4/5 – Another Solid Star Wars First Issue.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Marvel has had quite the success since taking over the Star Wars license from Dark Horse. The Star Wars books have been consistently at the top of the sales charts since they’ve premiered, and the main Star Wars book and Darth Vader have remained in the top 10. Not surprising, Marvel is responding to those fantastic sales with a recently announced Chewbacca series, and just this week they’ve released the first issue of Lando. Set before the time of Empire Strikes Back, Lando is at its core a heist story that starts off slow, but concludes with a surprise ending that will leave you coming back for more.
Charles Soule writes the first issue and we’re starting to see his name pop up more and more on Marvel titles. For me, his work has been hit or miss, but here it’s definitely a hit. Soule captures the soul of Lando Calrissian and shows us the more roguish side of the character that we saw in Empire Strikes Back. We see Lando’s ability to charm and woo, as well as his cunning and smarts as he attempts to settle a debt alongside his trusted aide and friend Lobot. Soule takes his time getting to the main story which is just fine as it allows the reader to get reacquainted with the character who’s more like the character we first met in Empire, rather than his appearance as a Rebel leader in Return of the Jedi.
I love Alex Maleev’s art, but I’m just not sure if it fits in the Star Wars universe. The opening scene is a quiet one as we watch Lando interact with his latest fling, and Maleev renders the whole interaction perfectly. Add in some wonderful sun-setting colors by Paul Mounts and you have a beautiful opening sequence. But as the story goes along and the more science fiction and familiar Star Wars settings creep in, Maleev’s style doesn’t necessarily gel. It’s not bad by any stretch, I’m just not sure that the art fits the world. Luckily though, Mounts’ colors do. From the bright sun that lights up the first few pages, to the green and purple hues that warm up the cold metals and machinery we see later on, Mounts finds the perfect colors to give Lando more of that Star Wars feel.
Lando is a great addition to the Star Wars line and even though the art doesn’t necessarily always match the world, it’s a great first issue with an even better cliffhanger. Charles Soule captures so much about what makes Lando great, but also highlights his weaknesses that make him feel real. I can’t wait to read the second issue and see how Lando will get himself out of the predicament that he’s in, and how his actions will fit into the larger narrative. Marvel continues their impressive handling of the Star Wars license, and I can’t wait to see more.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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