Story: Charles Soule
Art: Alex Maleev
What They Say:
You know him, you love him, now, join him for his biggest caper as master of charm Lando Calrissian gets his very own comic book! Before he joined the rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, Lando made his way in the galaxy getting by on some swindles, some swagger, and a smile. Lobot at his side, Lando has a plan to steal a very valuable ship, but has he bitten off more than he can chew?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
One of the biggest advantages that this book has, at least for me, is that more so than almost any other character in the Star Wars universe, Lando Calrissian is so very easy to hear in my head. There’s just a distinctiveness about Billy Dee Williams that makes him stand out and Charles Soule has captured that in the dialogue here, which is toned down a bit from the first issue just a touch. What that does is make this book feel all the more authentic in a way that the others can’t quite reach because outside of Darth Vader’s intonation, there’s nothing particularly distinctive about their dialogue or style of speech. Here, it’s all Billy Dee in my mind and that makes this such a good book to get into.
The storyline for this miniseries is certainly simple and straightforward but it’s so well infused with the style and tone of a big picture caper that it’s so easy to get caught up in it. Lando’s signing on to the theft of an Imperial yacht went over smooth overall previously and now he’s got the ship for Sava, who is also on board, while he gets to keep everything that’s on board it. It’s a gamble since he doesn’t know what’s on it, but as he later discovers that it’s full of artifacts that are valuable to the right person, you know it’s something that fits in with the way he loves to connect with the right wealthy people and make inroads there. He’s a smooth operator of the highest order and having a ship full of artifacts may delight him more than he lets on. The caper itself isn’t problem free of course, which is the cliffhanger aspect here that ets for more action the next time around, but the exploration of what makes the ship valuable and why is quite good.
Particularly because it’s Palpatine’s yacht, the Imperialis. And he really, really doesn’t like people touching his stuff. It’s easy to be dismissive of the idea that he’d keep things on this ship and let others handle it, but when you consider the kind of control and intimidation he places over others it makes a lot more sense. Look at the Star Destroyer captain here that, upon failing his mission, realizes his only option is suicide and proceeds to get it done with quickly. That’s the kind of people Palpatine keeps close to him and entrusts with his goods. The Star Destroyers and space battle material here is certainly fun as Lando does his best to get out of a sticky situation and the disbelief from Lobot is spot on, as is the dialogue from Sava about what he’s seeing. Lando’s the gambler and he bluffs well for the most part, so as it plays out over the book it’s thoroughly engaging and fun to watch to see if it’ll work or land them in a worse situation.
While the focus has been on Lando and his dealings with others of his ilk and the Imperials, we also get a presumed bounty hunter in the mix as well. Chanath Cha is seen on a world taking out a small time criminal and his empire only to drop everything – literally- when the Emperor calls. While we don’t get much of who Chanath is outside of some personality quirks since he’s completely inside a suit of armor, it’s very fun watching his interactions with the thug and then with the Emperor as he’s totally deferential. And the Emperor’s dialogue is wonderful as well as he doesn’t believe the fleet can deal with what he wants done, knowing that they truly are a hammer when he needs a needle. Normally he’d used Vader for that but can’t here since it’s a conflict but Chanath looks to set a decent tone – though I dislike the whole cape on his outfit as it just feels too superhero-ish for my tastes in this particular universe.
I had delighted with the first installment of the series and Lando doesn’t disappoint with this second installment. Hell, let’s be honest, Soule and Maleev don’t disappoint. The pair have constructed a very fun space caper that while it may not be rich in depth in a sense it has a great sense of self and smoothness that brings it to life. You can easily see this on the big screen, though wanting a bit more meat to it, but it so perfectly captures the character of Lando and how he operates that it just makes you grin from start to finish. Soule’s building well in this little corner of the universe and having me hope for another miniseries in the future while Maleev has done some great things here in bringing it to life. I love his Star Destroyer work, outside and in, as well as his portrayal of the Imperial officers. Similarly, I’m enjoying his alien designs as well as the whole layout of the book with creative panel designs and camera approaches. It’s a pretty solid book that makes for a great read in single form and likely a very fun collection down the line.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 8th, 2015