Comic Book Galaxy explores Marvel‘s Star Wars comic book releases and provides a discussion point on the culture and climate of the Star Wars comic book universe.
It’s another blissful hump day, and that means Comic Book Galaxy is ready to celebrate midweek by looking at Star Wars comics! Last week, Poe made a dramatic escape in the pages of Poe Dameron #6, featuring some amazing teamwork. Today, it’s time to return to The Force Awakens with issue #4, and take an early look at some amazing variant covers for Han Solo #4. And we’ll look back at Charles Soule and Alex Maleev’s amazing Lando mini-series.
The Week That Was
Highlights from Poe Dameron #6
- Poe and his companions find themselves in a heck of a predicament: trapped inside Megalox prison as a riot ensues. The inmates are dangerous, Black Squadron is outnumbered, and things are not looking good. Meanwhile, the callous Grakkus looks on. Where’s the love?
- But what about BB-8? The lovable droid finds himself confronted by a large security droid, who gives a rather brash Bruce Lee-style challenge, motioning to the droid to bring it on. BB-8 brings the pain, and shows that size matters not.
- Remember that gravitational field that prevents prisoners from being crushed (due to the planet having 10 times the gravity)? Poe and BB-8 work in unison to ensure they are immune to the planet’s laws of nature, and it’s a highlight of the series thus far.
And here’s your weekly awesome: check out this exclusive look at alternate covers for Han Solo #4, out October 12! The covers are compliments of Dustin Nguyen, Stephanie Hans, Kirbi Fagan, Jamal Campbell, as well as a movie still of Harrison Ford as Han Solo. They’re all in different styles and moods, but still capture the Solo coolness. ‘Nuff said.
Top of the Stack: What’s Out This Week
Star Wars: The Force Awakens #4
Issue #4 is one I’ve anticipated ever since the adaptation was announced. The reason: Rey’s vision. What clues and insights will Chuck Wendig and Luke Ross provide for this crucial moment in Rey’s development? We know these are her first steps, but how will they translate to comics? The answers lie in front of you as you pick up the next issue.
Word Balloon: I Wanna Go Back: Reflecting on Lando
Ever since his debut in The Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian has been a fan favorite. The swagger, the charm, and the cape. What else do you need?
Well, comics, it turns out. Charles Soule and Alex Maleev provided some of the finest character moments we’ve seen from Lando Calrissian in their Lando series, and introduced some new additions to Star Wars as well. Let’s take a closer look.
Honestly, this entire column could be about Lobot’s impact; this series helped redefine him forever. We learn in issue #1 that he willingly accepted an Imperial implant in order to make battlefield calculations. One of the more interesting parts is that while it doesn’t hinder him, he sometimes reverts to being more machine than man if he doesn’t maintain focus. A great metaphor for an even more intriguing character; we’ll come back to Lobot soon.
We meet Korin Pers, an Ugnaught who has a history with the titular character. The antiquities expert lost an eye when she previously worked with Lando, and even though he promised to make it up to her, she is not a Calrissian fan. Plus, she calls him “bokface.” If that isn’t great, I don’t know what is.
Aleksin and Pavol are twins that you don’t want to be trapped in a secret Sith vault with. The alien clones have a mysterious past, and believe their voices to be sacred; so sacred, in fact, that if you hear them, you had better run. These ferocious warriors wipe out Imperial Guards like its no big deal, as they fight in unison. This connection they share leads to a dramatic turn of events, as they turn their lethal talents on one another. Their arc is somewhat tragic, haunting, and beautiful.
The bounty hunter Emperor Palpatine trusts to retrieve his ship, the Imperialis, is on par with some of the most elite bounty hunters in the Star Wars galaxy. She spends much of the series as an enigma, but when it is revealed that she has a romantic past with Lobot, her mask is removed, showcasing a deadly bounty hunter with a heart.
Lando is charming; this, we know. But one moment stands out: he hates blasters…or does he? In issue #5, the lethal Aleksin, who is wielding a lightsaber, confronts him. Lando convinces him to deactivate the saber, and Aleksin acquiesces because he knows Lando’s stance on violence. However, Lando grabs a blaster, shoots the lightsaber out of Aleksin’s hand, and then shoots him in the chest. When Lobot (who has clearly been established in the series as his best friend and confidant) reacts in alarm, Lando puts his cards on the table:
Lobot: How did you do that? I thought you…hate blasters.
Lando: I was bluffing.
Lobot: Your…entire life?
Lando: Bluffing doesn’t work if people know you’re bluffing. Everyone knows Lando Calrissian doesn’t fight. He gets by on charm. Luck. … The only ones who know different are dead.
There’s more to Lando than magnetism. Much more.
We start with Lobot, and end with Lobot, and for good reason, too. At the end of issue #5, Lando and company are in dire straights. If the escape pods are not unlocked aboard the Imperialis, everyone will die. Despite an earnest plea from both Lando and Chanath, Lobot sacrifices his humanity by giving in to his implants, allowing them to activate the escape pods, saving their lives. Lobot’s gift of offering up his humanity to save his friends resonates deeply within Calrissian. Much respect to Lobot; you won’t be able to watch The Empire Strikes Back again in quite the same way.
See you at the comic shop next week!
Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and runs Coffee With Kenobi (with co-host Cory Clubb), a Star Wars podcast that analyzes the saga through critical thinking, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is also the Rebel teacher in the Target Rogue One commercial, and is an avid comic book consumer and longtime reader of the medium.