Bounty hunters are some of the most hit-and-miss characters in Star Wars for me. They can be a fun way to explore the galaxy, but oftentimes they wind up trapping themselves in an action film instead of a Star Wars one. Unfortunately, Star Wars Bounty Hunters Vol. 1: Galaxy’s Deadliest is the latter.
Pair that up with the fact that the current Disney era of comics is more focused on delivering Star Wars content than it is in delivering good comics, and Bounty Hunters ends up largely being a disappointment, in my opinion.
For the story, it’s about as generic as they get, which, to their credit, is pretty Star Wars of them. I can see where the pitch looks good, and I can see where it works and why someone would tell this story, but most of the volume is boring or confusing. The plot bounces back and forth between the past and present, seemingly at random, and constantly shifting focus. It introduces at least three new characters whose names I don’t remember and who I am confused about as to their standing in the plot. I tend to enjoy Star Wars in every media possible, but it was hard for me to keep track of where the new and established characters were supposed to be at different times. Sure, it’s fun to update the spreadsheet when there are new additions to canon, but I’m not sure an entire series needs to be devoted to what amounts to a small detour between films. There are finally some good moments in issue #5, but I feel they were too little, too late.
As for the craft of the comic, I think it actually fares worse. Neither the series artist, Paolo Villanelli, or series writer, Ethan Sacks, are extremely new to comics or even Star Wars comics, but this feels very disorganized and could have used more of a guiding hand throughout. The general lack of panel borders or consistent layout makes it a slog to get through; instead of feeling energetic, it feels rote. Even the colors aren’t great, with the palette jumping all over the place throughout an issue.
The lone strength of the visual storytelling are the splash pages, which are fun because they break up the comic in a nice way, but also because we get to see brawling in most of them, which can be a relative rarity in Star Wars comics. A general weakness of Star Wars comics is that, since most professional comic artists are used to drawing superheroes, they tend to draw characters in poses that don’t really look like Star Wars ones. Here, though, the energy matches the genre, and it always looks good.
I like some of the ideas here, and there’s some potential, but I don’t think I’ll find myself returning to this series. It took the full five issues for me to understand anyone’s motivations, the visual storytelling was confusing, and the cast was pretty interchangeable. If you’re a die-hard fan of anyone on the cover, by all means check this out. Otherwise, there’s much better Star Wars content out there.
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