Monday, July 2, 2018

Star Wars: Lando - Double Or Nothing #2 Review

Double Down

Written by: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Paolo Villanelli
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC's Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Star Wars
Publication Date: 27 June 2018

Amidst the rubble of Solo, issue 1 of this mini-series was like a shiny coin peeking out from the dirt and grime. Yes, I know everyone's attention was on Lucasfilm staff slagging off fans, weak defences of The Last Jedi 6 months after its release and attempts to cover up Solo's Box Office losses, but in the middle of all that Marvel sneaked out a really enjoyable first installment in their new Lando series. Let's see how this issue was!

I think quite a bit of credit for this has to go to Rodney Barnes actually. A lot of the problems with the Solo film stemmed from the awful script. Did that weak script result from Lucasfilm's decision to shove in a writer based on parentage rather than merit? To be fair to Jon Kasdan (son of Lawrence Kasdan) he did once act in Dawson's he does have some experience in the industry. Thankfully in this comic Barnes delivers us some really top class writing and the contrast with the film is so readily apparent, particularly in the chemistry that is established in this book between L3-37 and Lando, which here actually works.

In the film L3-37 was so annoying: I am ashamed (nah, not really) to admit I cheered a little bit when she met her fatal demise (c'mon admit it - you did too, she was a complete pain in the ass). In this comic I have grown to like her though and have continuously chuckled at the exchanges between her and Lando. Really good writing by Barnes, and it shows how Marvel is the place to be for Star Wars fun at the moment. From this series so far, you can see how the young Lando needed the salty L3-37 to keep his massive younger ego in check (while writing the Calrissian chronicles!).

The art as well is really very good. Nice colors and shading, good rendering of the characters, realistic depictions. Good design work - I don't like the Falcon design in this Solo-era but that's not the book's fault - and although I am unhappy with where the Star Wars franchise is being taken at the minute I have to admit the art in this book really makes me look forward to buying it. The design of Star Wars has always been a big attraction for me and therefore I have a very high standard when it comes to seeing the comic books being rendered well on the art side. This has not been the case at times with Marvel (and please avoid The Last Jedi adaptation on the stands at the minute) but thankfully the standard is much improved of late across the imprint.

Bits and Pieces:

An intriguing story, an interesting cliffhanger, great art and a great deal of style about this book, then again what else would one expect from a book starring Mr Calrissian. Definitely a good book, and given the quality of Star Wars output at the minute that fact is subverting expectations in a more welcome fashion than Rian Johnson's attempt. Snap it up - the good content is hard to find in Star Wars these days.


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