Comic Review: Bounty Hunters #19

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Published: December 29, 2021
Rated: T
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Ramón F. Bachs
Colourist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Production Design: Nick Russell
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Nolan Woodard

The synopsis;

CHAOS SPREADS THROUGH THE UNDERWORLD!
• As Crimson Reign has ignited the underworld in all-out war, T’ONGA’s team of bounty hunters – including BOSSK, ZUCKUSS and TASU LEECH – are running out of time to save the one young girl who can stop the conflict between syndicates!
• A mysterious bounty hunter is out to assassinate a high ranking Imperial officer in a daring hit on a heavily armed cruiser. But was the hunter given the right target?

The review;



Three is the magic number as far as covers goes for issue 19 of Bounty Hunters. Giuseppe Camuncoli is ably assisted by Nolan Woodard for the direct cover. It is a split page view of Stormtrooper and TIE pilot which reflects the transition of Valance’s career for the Empire over the years. The 27th Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary collaboration depicts a young Han and Lando in front of a lovely graphic of the Millennium Falcon. But the variant cover from Leinil Yu and Sunny Gho is, well… beautiful! It portrays an action-packed illustration of Bossk and Zuckuss with blasters out. The expression on Bossk’s face is absolutely perfect and is packed with excitement of the battle and the ferocity of the Trandoshan.


After the events of issue 18 I was half expecting Valance to move across to Greg Pak’s Darth Vader series, but Ethan Sacks isn’t letting go of his baby anytime soon, is he? Valance is back square and centre for this issue. Also returning is Ramón F. Bachs and Bryan Valenza. After impressing last time out, they continue with yet more great artwork.


We start with a flashback during his time as a cadet which takes us to a previous encounter between Valance and General Tarl Sokoli. Accompanied by Han Solo, it takes place not long after Solo has rescued Valance and he has started to undergo his cybernetic transformation. He stumbles into Sokoli while rushing to hear him lecture at the Imperial Naval Academy on Carida. Sokoli takes pity on Valance and apologises for making him dream of serving the Empire.

Vader has ordered Valance to assassinate Sokoli as he is linked to Crimson Dawn. Dispatched with a squadron of TIE Defender’s Valance is leading them on the mission. The crew of the Forerunner II quickly realise that these TIE’s are not friendly and in turn release their own TIE Fighters into the fray. The battle is slipping away from Valance and his allies. 5 quickly becomes 2 and he decides drastic action is needed. Instead of and orthodox boarding of the frigate and battling through corridors of Stormtroopers, he has decided to go direct to his quarry and crash his TIE into the bridge. Sokoli knows he has been setup by Vader, although he can’t help but admire the move Valance is about to attempt as he watches on.

On Ord Mantell, T’onga is witnessing the shift in power within the underworld. Black Sun agents collecting their protection money are taken down by unknown attackers. They also kill the stall holder in the crossfire, but then announce that they will now be collecting the protection money in future. She returns to the rest of her newly formed crew, and she knows that finding Cadeliah is the only way to stop this shift in power that is destabilising the underworld. Zuckuss knows that his former partner, 4-LOM is the key to this. He placed a tracker on him when they last encountered each other, so they should be able to catch up with him soon. They set off in search of 4-LOM.

On the bridge of Forerunner II, Valance approaches and injured Sokoli. He is impressed with Valance’s entrance but wants to know why he is the target. Valance tells him that Vader considers Sokoli as a Crimson Dawn mole. He asks if Valance believes Vader, but Vader has too much persuasion over him to consider anything else. 2 Stormtroopers emerge onto the bridge and Valance takes them down with his palm blaster. Sokoli sees this as his chance and goes for his weapon. Valance turns and his palm blaster rings out once more. Mission accomplished and no TIE to escape in, he hails the remaining member of Dark Squadron for a pickup.

Lieutenant Haydenn appraises Lord Vader as to the outcome of Valance’s mission on board the Executor. Sokoli was not a Crimson Dawn mole, but it was all just a mere test of Valance. He is ready now and he asks for Ochi of Bestoon to be updated.

This was yet another fast paced and eventful issue from Sacks and the team. Sacks has put Valance through the wringer since the first issue of the series. We have seen the emotional turmoil he has been through, becoming the changed man and now, we are seeing an Imperial puppet on display. He now has position which sees him operate like Vader’s Hand. Sending him to do tasks that I’m sure others could undertake and teaching him painful lessons when he falters, pauses, or steps out of line. The beauty of this is Vader is treating Valance in a way that is unerringly similar to how the Emperor treats him.

Bachs artwork needs to be mentioned. He has stepped in to deputise for Paolo Villanelli for issues 18 and 19 and has not disappointed in any way. The illustrations for this issue of the TIE battle were truly magnificent. Valenza’s colour work has complimented his designs perfectly and they have worked very well together.

The quality is there to be seen with every single issue. Consistent is a word I’ve used in previous reviews, and I need to use it again. The story has been consistent, the artwork has been consistent (even with the temporary change of team), the lettering has been consistent. But the last few issues have started pushing beyond that and it is pressing this series into contention to be one of the best modern Star Wars comics since the 2015 relaunch.

What will Vader and Ochi have in store for Valance next? More interestingly, what will 4-LOM have in store for T’onga and her crew? We don’t have long to wait and see what issue 20 brings because it hits the shelves on January 12, 2022. I can’t wait!

Availability;

Bounty Hunters is an ongoing series available from Marvel Comics. This issue retails at $3.99 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores.

The post Comic Review: Bounty Hunters #19 appeared first on Jedi News.

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