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):
With the Princess Leia miniseries concluding, Marvel has moved quickly into the next miniseries with Lando Calrissian in the lead. Lando was a welcome introduction into the film at the time considering how white everything was – outside of the colorful aliens – and it’s something that’s proliferated into the other films as time went on. I always liked the character back in the day when I had the action figures and told my own stories of a young Lando and Han and the trouble they’d get into. So with Marvel giving us a miniseries with the character that takes place before the movie events, with Charles Soule writing and Alex Maleev on the art, it was pretty much a given that I was all in.
And while this is just a first issue, the potential is most certainly there with what we get. The series is one that’s essentially pure Lando in a way as he’s always looking for a good deal that will get him free and clear so he can move on to potentially more lucrative deals. Deals that will likely go south on him anyway. Here, he’s working at first to acquires a particular item in order to clear the slate with the person he owes money to, though the transaction falls flat and only cuts his debt by ten percent. But what makes the “heist” itself fun is that he’s spending some quality time with Ssaria, a Moff of this particular sector and one with a truly cruel reputation. That he decides his best bet is to apply his charms is, again, totally Lando. And that he pulls it off as well as it really reinforces the whole scoundrel and rogue aspect that we get from Han in The Empire Strikes Back. It cements the character completely here, especially if you read it all in Billy Dee Williams voice.
The other interesting aspect to the setup here is that Lando isn’t alone but is rather partnered up with Lobot. Lobot is one of the more maligned characters from the film, particularly since he doesn’t talk in it, but he’s damn talkative here. Which means there’s potentially a damn interesting story there – that may be in this series. Lobot’s the pragmatic of the pair and gets very frustrated by Lando and his easily distracted dreams, but even he has to admit that their next big heist that will net them a lot of money is pretty inspired. Theft of a high ranking and rich Imperial’s private ship that’s filled with priceless art? That’s definitely a smooth move, one that as we see here inadvertently goes all the way to the top of things when it’s discovered because of who he managed to cross without realizing it. This turns out to be a nice callback to the prequel trilogy, something that I’m enjoying when done across all the series. As easy to malign as they are, they’re also fertile ground for expansion into the original trilogy era.
If ever a smooth talker finally deserved his own book, it’s this one. Soule and Maleev basically nail it here by giving us what looks to be the “solo adventure film” that many of us wanted back in the day. The story setup is straightforward here and it’s easy to see how it’s going to spiral out of his control as the deal gets worse and worse in true Lando fashion. Soule infuses the character well, which isn’t easy because the dialogue is certainly “of the time” when you get down to it. But it provides an accent to it that works. What helps even more though is that Maleev’s artwork is perfectly suited here, from great character design and adaptation to the panel flow and layout and the fun with the ship design. We get a good range of aliens involved here and some fun with a new Moff as well that has me hopeful there’s more in store for her. The expansion of the Star Wars universe looks like it continues to be in very good hands that get a lot of what can be done with it while being true to the spirit and the characters.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 8th, 2015