Thanks to The Mandalorian and the impending rollout of his own TV miniseries, Boba Fett is getting some extra love from Marvel Comics with the reissue of some classic comic runs. This trade collects the 2010 Blood Ties mini focusing on the adventures of Boba and his father Jango, as well as the excellent Boba Fett is Dead run from 2012. A few odds-and-ends issues are thrown in to round out this collection, but these two complete tales from Tom Taylor are the foremost reason to pick up this trade.
The prequel trilogy, while finding acceptance in my heart, likely came too late in my fandom for me to hold any emotional allegiance. The characters from that era simply don’t grab my attention like those from the original trilogy or Expanded Universe. Having said that, Taylor’s script understands the key elements of his titular characters and finds stimulating ways to explore their motivations and conflicts. Though I have little emotional connection to Boba’s loss in the prequels, this 2010 run adds ample rationale to the man Boba would become because of his father’s death. It’s an excellent story that Marvel/Disney would be right to canonize.
Better yet, Taylor’s follow-up with Boba Fett is Dead two years later builds on his innerworkings of the bounty hunter and weaves an interesting love story into the four-issue run, something sorely missing from many Star Wars arcs. It helps give this book a sensual heart that other Star Wars books habitually lack. Additionally, Taylor knows how to embrace the comic medium’s advantages, keeping the pacing brisk with plenty of space for the art direction to communicate the central elements of the plot without unnecessary exposition.
Chris Scalf’s semi-realistic art, featured in these two minis, is the perfect choice for this story arc. His work resembles the Dark Horse Star Wars covers of yore that enticed me as a young fan in the early ’90s. Each issue on the rack screamed cinematic flair and dedication from the publisher. Sadly, I was often disappointed when I realized the entire book did not have the same attention to artistic detail on in the inner pages. That’s not the case with these two books, as Scalf’s pencils are splashed across every panel throughout. The art in these runs looks like nothing else I have seen in a Star Wars comic and leaves me wishing more comics in the line took this approach.
Twin Engines of Destruction and Agents of Doom are strong one-shots that are well in keeping with their time and place of publication. They both gave Boba Fett recognizable things to do and provided fitting artwork to complement the narratives. I especially liked Cam Kennedy’s pencil work from the Agents of Doom title, that provided a gritty texture to the focused line work of the characters.
There are a few supplemental full-covers thrown in the end this collection, but nothing that will entice a reader not already interested in purchasing this book. With that in mind, the strength of the two Blood Ties minis should make this collection a required purchase for those wanting to explore Boba Fett before his Disney+ series is released.
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