Published: July 14, 2021
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Luke Ross
Colourist: Neeraj Menon
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Steve McNiven & Frank D’Armata
THE BIGGEST COMC EVENT OF THE STAR WARS GALAXY CONTINUES!
• Notorious bounty hunter BOBA FETT has tracked his missing prize — heroic smuggler HAN SOLO, frozen in carbonite — to the remote, frozen world of JEKARA.
• But representatives from many of the galaxy’s most powerful factions have gathered, and they all want the same thing — Solo.
• Things go from bad to worse, as Boba Fett realizes that he himself has become almost as valuable to the galaxy’s hunters as Han Solo, and he must turn to the least trustworthy person in the galaxy for help…DOCTOR APHRA…
This week sees the return of War of the Bounty Hunters, the actual comic that links in all the other series that are taking part in this massive crossover event. Last issue saw a huge twist with the return of Crimson Dawn and Qi’ra, nothing like setting the stage! The issues that have run up to this second issue have all been leading up to the auction of Han Solo. Doctor Aphra (also released this week) showed us that this event wasn’t going to go as planned, with surprise visits from some notable characters. I’m excited to see where Charles Soule takes us in this issue…
There is a lot packed into this issue, but the star of the show is Boba Fett. He hasn’t been having a good string of luck in the last featured issues and here we see just what he is up to. This is a man with a reputation, who is the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy, and he’s angry. In the old Legends, we use to see time and again the bounty hunters fighting with each other, particularly the group that was in The Empire Strikes Back. Soule does the same thing here with Fett and Bossk. This isn’t an intense battle and I’m sure this is to give the reader the obvious clue that Fett is not easy to defeat. But seeing the strategy, the references to The Clone Wars and the effects on Bossk after is incredible. This feels like Boba Fett unleashed and he’s only getting started. We also get the answer from Doctor Aphra as to who our mysterious hooded friend is, but this gives us the back story to how Fett came to be at the auction. As a child who grew up with the mystery of Fett, Soule seems to be harkening back to that, we don’t gain any new insight except very brief mentions of the past and his face is never shown.
After the end of the last issue, a lot of eyes are on Qi’ra. In this issue we learn very little about what has happened to her, and this is perfect. Soule is teasing the reader as so many of us want answers, but this whole event has been planned over a lot of issues from varying series and this mystery will keep drawing us back again and again. The questions posed by the attendants at the start of the issue are so humorous, as it’s these questions that we as fans have had since issue one. Something has clearly happened to Qi’ra, particularly her open of Han. At the end of Solo, we know she did what was best for him, yet now she seems to despise him. She also sees very keen to want to bring chaos to this party. Qi’ra has worked out that Solo is the catalyst needed to bring all these people together and that will make them fight one another. The question is, why?
The different factions are good to see here, from Black Sun to the Pykes, to the Empire. There is lots of distrust, which isn’t surprising, yet we get to see the Hutts, who are continually against each other. Perhaps my only complaint of the issue were the scenes with Doctor Aphra, which mirrored perfectly what we’d seen in this week’s Doctor Aphra issue. I would have liked to have seen something a bit different, from a different point of view. The Empire is also here, led by Sly Moore. This aspect was fascinating, how Moore doesn’t know the extent of her power or its limitations, allowing Soule to bring attention to the fact of how important being trained in the force is. The other part that Soule brings in, is the connection the Empire has to lots of these factions. It’s easy to forget that the Empire isn’t in complete control, that it allows some to overextend their power a little in order to keep some idea of peace.
The artwork by Luke Ross is wonderful, creating a real grandiose feel, which the auction should certainly have. There are lots of details here, with so many different factions and species present in every panel. Ross plays around with the sizing of the panels perfectly, to really emphasis the key moments and create that cinematic feeling to the proceedings taking place.
The end is almost a mirror of Doctor Aphra with heroes and villains showing up. Was I disappointed that we didn’t get further than Aphra? Of course! Was I expecting it and that Soule would make is wait… of course! The pacing in this issue is excellent and it is constantly holding back to ensure it doesn’t give too much away. With the auction effectively over, it is up to the other series to show what their characters are doing, how they are affected by this turn of events.
These one-off issues that highlight the key points of this event are incredible if not a little frustrating. This could have easily been its own series without the need for all the other series contributing to it. Yet it is this expansion of the story that really makes these comics by Soule shine. They anchor what is going to be coming next in each series. We are not halfway through this series, and it is already showing it’s going places that we didn’t imagine. The ‘big’ auction is now over, but there is still so much story yet to tell, where can it possibly go. This issue is what it should be: big, bold and makes you want more and more. Next week feels like a long way away to find some answers (hopefully) to the fallout of this comic…
War of the Bounty Hunters#2 is the second issue of a 5 part mini-series available from Marvel Comics. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores and retails at $3.99.