Lando has been a real treat of a series. Through no fault of the creators, it certainly wasn’t at the top of my list of new titles from Marvel, but this creative team has won me over. Can it sustain its quality, and is it good?
Lando #3 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens where we left off with Lando’s best bud Lobat fallen at the hands of the Emperor’s Royal Guard. He’s malfunctioning and not doing well, plus Lando has two very aggressive and dangerous fighters on his hands. Meanwhile a bounty hunter that can only be described as more dangerous than any other we’ve seen yet is hot on Lando’s trail. Lando unfortunately stole the Emperor’s prized ship which contains many priceless items and unique tech. Plus, Lando just singlehandedly piloted the ship away from three Star Destroyers by making two of them crash into each other. A hot mess all around. Luckily Lando is chipper and ready for the next turn of events.
Honestly, this just might be Charles Soule’s best work yet. The character Lando is vivid, real and quite entertaining. The plot has an insane amount of odds stacked against him and is moving along quite nicely. Last issue I had a bit of a problem with the bounty hunter character and how he was introduced, but that character grows on you here. He’s very good at what he does and he knows it and that chip on his shoulder is fun to watch. It’s also nice to see Lando interacting with elements so closely tied to the Emperor. Soule has basically unlocked a very interesting version of Lando, but we’re also getting to go inside the Emperor’s secret treasure chest. That’s exciting.
This reminds me of Michael Fassbender’s character in Prometheus.
And shoot, I haven’t even talked about Lobat! For a character who was more of an oddity in the movies he’s been incredibly fleshed out here. You actually care for the guy and I’m intrigued to see how this story changes who he is when we see him in The Empire Strikes Back.
This issue is paced well, partly due to some excellent fight sequences between Lando’s men and the Royal Guard. At the same time Lando is dealing with his friend Lobat, but also learning new things about a “coworker” who has a great deal of knowledge of the Jedi. The Jedi, might I add, have long been disbanded and made illegal. The ability of Soule to weave in these elements feels just right and not forced. That’s a great feat when you consider Lando is very far removed from these elements.
One could argue the fight sequence feels a bit long, but it makes sense and heightens the threat of the Imperial Guard. Certainly if they were defeated quickly they’d look pathetic, but for all its focus in the issue it probably could have been scaled back a bit.
The art by Alex Maleev is jaw-droppingly good. Lando looks exactly like Billy Dee Williams and the range of his emotions is remarkable. Seriously, Maleev is making me wonder if we even need actors anymore; the range is so good in this book. Meanwhile the spaceships, robots and bounty hunter armor look fantastic and very real. There’s also something about the ink work that should be noted. Maleev casts everything in a heaviness that’s scary and almost disturbing. Space looks like a scary place in this comic. Meanwhile, Lando is incredibly chipper. These dark tones actually help spruce up the character and make his always positive nature that much more bright. It’s a fantastic contrast and something to keep an eye out for while you read.
Is It Good?
Fantastic characters and a pulse pounding plot are found in this comic. The ink work is dark and brooding, but is outmatched by the incredibly uplifting and captivating character of Lando Calrissian.
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