I was stunned Lando Calrissian was getting his own Marvel Comics mini-series. He’s typically in the 6-8th position in terms of favorite Star Wars heroes and it seemed a bold move to make him the main draw of a comic, but three issues in now, I’m hoping Marvel just makes this an ongoing title.
Turns out there’s some very fertile ground for storytelling with everyone’s second favorite scoundrel. Set before he assumes command of Cloud City, the series written by Charles Soule and drawn by Alex Maleev finds Lando and his pal Lobot trying to settle an old debt.
To do that, they’ve teamed up with two clone warriors and an antiquity specialist to steal an Imperial luxury yacht, which just so happens to belong to Emperor Palpatine who left two of his Imperial Guard to defend something very valuable.
Issue 3 picks up with Lobot suffering from getting stabbed by one of the guards and trying to keep his cybernetic implants from assuming control and wiping his mind. Lobot was another one of those cool background characters in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” that was kind of hard to figure out if he was a human, a cyborg or a robot.
Soule explores the possibility that this incident transformed Lobot to a mute operative at Lando’s command. It’s here we see Lando’s swagger buckle if for a moment. What’s really engaging about this take on Lando is his unflappable confidence and overconfident smile even in overwhelming odds.
Meanwhile Palpatine dispatched bounty hunter/master assassin Chanath Cha off to capture the ship. Cha’s design is a little bland and a bit too Boba Fett-lite, but he’s already proving a fun, indomitable character that’s going to give Lando and crew fits when they meet.
His treatment of Palpatine’s droid was both extreme and incredibly practical.
The main action sequence features the clone “twins” battling the Imperial Guard. My only complaint is I wish Maleev didn’t make the twins’ resemble Black Panther so much, but this was a rare fight scene where I wasn’t sure of the end result.
The issue wraps up with Lando and crew learning what’s in the back chamber and its ties to Order 66, setting up a very intriguing cliff hanger.
Rating: 8.5 Issue 3 marked another easy read that raised the stakes on Lando’s mission with potentially dire consequences to his best friend and setting up the confrontation with Chanath Cha. The larger Jedi/Sith connection was a nice bonus and this series continues to be one I’m most excited about reading each month.