Solo #6 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Solo #6 devotes resources to Han’s confrontation with Dryden Vos to preserve the tension and drama of the scene.

This article contains plot points for Solo #6.

Solo #6 Cover

Solo #6

Writer: Robbie Thompson | Artist: Will Sliney | Color Artist: Andres Mossa and Stefani Rennee | Letterer: VC’s Joe Cramagna | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

After surviving the escape from the Maw near Kessel, Han, Beckett, and their crew have refined the stolen coaxium and now just need to deliver it to Dryden Vos. Complicating this is the arrival of Enfys Nest and her Cloud-Riders. Solo #6 picks up the story there. Although light on additional story material, the latest issue in the Solo: A Star Wars Story adaptation captures the tension and drama from one of the key conflicts in the film and helps establish Solo as perhaps the best comic adaptation of the current Marvel era. Because Solo #6 covers well known events from the film, not all the details of the issue will be covered here.

Han Solo vs Dryden Vos

Solo #6 devotes most of its space to Han’s confrontation with Dryden Vos aboard Dryden’s yacht. It was a wise decision. In the film, Dryden exhibited a wide range of emotion. When Han and Qi’ra first arrive, he expresses jubilation over their success. However, those emotions shift to sorrow and sympathy when they report Beckett’s alleged death. Later, Dryden delivered several intense lines as he reveals he is on to Han and Qi’ra’s plan. Paul Bethany’s performance added a high degree of menace to the delivery.

This scene could have been condensed in Solo #6. Doing so, however, would have sacrificed the presence of Dryden. Over the course of the meeting, Dryden steadily grows more menacing and dangerous. That would have been sacrificed with the removal of only a few panels.

In addition, this scene in Solo #6 captures a cinematic quality. The panels frequently change angles and zoom in on faces for close-ups at the right moment. For instance, when it occurs to everyone that the real coaxium was on the yacht with Han all along, the panels shift between close up images of Han and Beckett’s faces as the truth of the matter dawns on Beckett. After he shoots Dryden’s guards, the next panel features Dryden’s enraged reaction. Solo #6 captured the action of this scene perfectly.

Solo #6 - Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders on Savareen

Enfys Nest Revealed

Solo #6 also features the reveal of Enfys Nest’s identity and that of her Cloud-Riders. Prior to Han and Qi’ra’s arrival on Dryden’s yacht, Enfys Nest and her gang caught up with Han and Beckett at the Savareen refinery. Unlike the showdown on Dryden’s yacht, Enfys Nest’s meeting with Beckett and Han does sacrifice panels in the name of efficiency.

First, Lando makes his escape. Han had just attempted to bluff Enfys that the Millennium Falcon  had thirty hired guns on board. Lando, off screen, decides he had enough and takes off in the Falcon. Although it is clear what happened from this issue, there could have been a smoother transition to Lando’s fleeing in the Falcon.

Second, when Enfys reveals her identity as a teenage girl, the transition is abrupt. In one panel, she is walking towards the reader. In the next, her helmet is off and she is declaring she needs a drink. Granted, she is holding her helmet up, but it disappears in the crease of the issue. Perhaps moving the helmet more towards the middle would resolve the issue.

Expanding the Story

Like many issues in this series, Solo #6 doesn’t expand the story of Solo: A Star Wars Story much. The one significant element added was a flashback scene when Enfys Nest tells Han and Beckett of the history of Crimson Dawn terrorizing worlds. This was a necessary addition. A large portion of Solo #6 is text heavy. Although tense, the recitation of the misdeeds of Crimson Dawn would feature a lot of standing around in a comic adaptation. Therefore, the addition of the flashback fulfills the “show, don’t tell” requirement of comics. It is only a brief three panels, and they are constructed in such a way as to not spoil the reveal that is coming in the next installment of Solo.

Solo #6 Dryden Vos

Concluding Thoughts on Solo #6

Like its predecessors, Solo #6 does a good job in bringing the tone and pacing of the film to the comic adaptation. Sliney’s art has been superb in this series, but Solo #6 improves on an already good thing. The likeness of Enfys Nest to Erin Kellyman is fantastic. The pages and panels featuring her attacking the Crimson Dawn thugs are incredibly well laid out and beautifully illustrated.

Thus far, Solo might be the best comic adaptation of a Star Wars film since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. Part of the reason for that is that the story has been expanded to seven issues. Therefore, moments such as Han’s confrontation with Dryden Vos are allowed to breathe. There is one more key conflict left in the film, and that is coming in the next issue. The comic portrayal of that moment could potentially solidify Solo as the best adaptation yet.

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