SPOILER REVIEW: "Bounty Hunters #8: The Terminus Gauntlet, Part I: Moving Target" by Ethan Sacks
As a set-up issue for the new arc, a ton happened in this comic! With the direction things went in this issue, I'm definitely excited to see how everything works out from here. On a more critical note, while I'm usually over the moon about canon connections, there were so many in this issue that seemed more like random name drops than actual deep connections--let's just say I raised my eyebrow and looked incredulously at the page more than a couple of times. But overall, a great way to start out the new arc. And there's even some potential embedded in the story for some sort of cross-over with the mainline "Star Wars" series which is super exciting!!
We start off with a flashback to Valance's cadet days with Han Solo on Carida on that fateful day when he got shot down by the native insurgents. As the rest of his squad flies back to base, he crawls out of his wrecked ship, alone, and proclaims that he can take care of himself...all by himself. This then segues into the present where he is desperately running from the bounty put on his head by the Unbroken Clan, also alone. It appears that perhaps some time has passed as he mentions having skipped through several ports, evading capture. Strange that they wouldn't include this part of the story and put on display new planets/locations and possible growth in Valance's character. Instead it seems that Ethan Sacks wanted to jump to the next big story point which is Valance helping out the Rebels as a favor owed for forcing evacuation on the group that had made a secret home of Lowick. The mission? Find and rescue a transport that "suffered a malfunction and dropped out of hyperdrive two days ago" thus missing the rendezvous. Valance agrees quickly and has some words to say about the Rebellion's seeming hypocrisy--"So those poor souls just get left behind--abandoned by the cause they risked their lives for." This is something I've pondered over in a previous review...the Rebellion seeming to pick and choose who is worth saving.
Now let's get to those connections, for better or worse...
1) Figrin D'an is playing at the club (H'unn Cabaret Pit on Nar Kaaga) the present storyline begins in. This doesn't give him much time to transition to playing in Jabba's palace in less than a year's time...
2) Tasu Leech makes an appearance as an assassin out for the bounty on Valance's head...he's just a kid which works, but the convenience of using a character we see again 30 years later is just odd. Plus, he is not immediately recognizable which kept throwing me off.
3) Syphacc (the man with the cranial implant who's job is to divvy up bounty assignments) says in reference to Tasu Leech, "he comes cheaper than Fennec Shand." Another totally odd name drop that seems to come from nowhere.
4) The lost transport is called the Spirit of Jedha -- this one I, of course, like!!
5) A gang of Weequay pirates shows up just as Valance exits hyperspace near the lost ship and it just so happens to be the Ohnaka Gang...sans Hondo... What's the point of including that particular gang of pirates when you leave out the best part about that particular gang of pirates??
6) Dengar happens to be partnering with the Ohnaka Gang...just, why?
7) And lastly, the connection that provides potential for some sort of cross-over with the "Star Wars" mainline--Kondra (Valance's old flame's new husband) says, "I can't contact Rebel Command because the Empire has broken our security codes" something we are already aware of because of what is happening in the other series!! Again, this one, I like!
Trivia: So I ended up going down a Tasu Leech-shaped rabbit hole due to the comic noting he was speaking Jablogian. Turns out that's the language he typically speaks which at first made no sense to me until I discovered that Jablogians (ex. Azmorigan from "Rebels") are actually native to Nar Kanji where the Kanjiklub hail from. This is so bizarre that I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around it...but still pretty cool!
Overall, a fairly packed issue which was definitely an enjoyable ride. And some quite interesting connections to all sorts of different canon material.
SCORE: 7/10 because there was no skimping on the story, but the random name drops gave me a good deal of pause
"Bounty Hunters #8: The Terminus Gauntlet, Part I: Moving Target" written by Ethan Sacks, illustrated by Paolo Villanelli and Arif Prianto
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