All’s fair in love and war and bounty hunting…
This review contains spoilers for Lando #4.
Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Alex Maleev | Colors: Paul Mounts | Cover: Alex Maleev | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
At the Emperor’s command, Chanath Cha has used the Scimitar to catch up with Lando and his crew on the Emperor’s stolen yacht, the Imperialis. While Chanath bypasses the yacht’s defenses and invades the ship, Lando, Sava Korin Pers, and the alien clone warriors Aleksin and Pavol continue to examine the Sith artifacts they have discovered in a secret treasure chamber. Pers determines that the value of the antiquities to be staggering, sufficient for each member of the crew to afford their own moon or two. While examining some sort of Sith helmet, Aleksin is seemingly corrupted and attacks Pavol with a double bladed lightsaber. Lando and Pers flee from the treasure chamber and Lando attempts to convince Pers not to abandon their mission. Pavol confronts Aleksin about what has happened to him, and in the meantime, Chanath Cha gets the drop on Lando and Pers. This comes as a surprise to Chanath, because Lando is an old acquaintances. Cha fills Lando in on how much trouble the scoundrel has gotten himself into, and ominously warns that the only cargo aboard the ship is “death.” The issue concludes with Aleksin and Pavol wielding lightsabers as they emerge from the treasure chamber, apparently corrupted by the Sith artifacts.
This issue revealed quite a bit more about many of the characters. First, previous issues have established that Korin Pers is a professor of sorts, and “Sava” is a title (which had been incorrectly used as a name in previous reviews here). Furthermore, Lando compliments Pers as a “fascinating lady.” As it turns out, Ugnaughts are hard to distinguish by sex.
Second, Aleksin and Pavol, after not speaking in the previous three issues, have a fair amount of dialogue in this issue. Granted, their conversation is limited to words spoken to each other. Their dialogue reveals them to be mercenaries. Although they have been referred to as twins, their relationship appears to be something more intimate. Pavol refers to Aleksin as “my love” and begs to know what has happened to him after Aleksin removed Pavol’s arm with the lightsaber. Furthermore, the twins had been counting on this job as their last big job prior to retiring and using their share of the treasure to procure a clone child.
Finally, Chanath Cha is revealed to be a lady. As with Pers, the previous issues had avoided discussing her sex, and that should have been a clue that she was not a man. Also, the prior issues, and this issue prior to the reveal, have taken care to give her an appearance that is not particularly feminine. Even after the reveal, Chanath only adopts a slightly feminine manner of cocking a hip as she insults Lando for being a fool. As with Captain Phasma’s treatment with the promotional materials for The Force Awakens, the artists are not highlighting Chanath’s feminity with her appearance and instead are focusing on utility. It is unclear what the nature of Lando and Chanath’s prior relationship was. Lando did not recognize her in her armor, but Chanath recognized Lando right away. When she removed her helmet, Lando kissed her on the hand rather than making a more intimate gesture.
This issue turned the story of this series on its head. The antagonist, Chanath Cha, is now an apparent ally, although what Chanath will do with Lando and the crew has not been resolved. Two members of the crew, Aleksin and Pavol, having been corrupted by the Sith artifacts, are now adversaries. The pace of this issue made more sense than the prior issue as all the actors had far less galaxy to cover to bring them all to the same place. In all, it was a tighter story with the same level of surprise reveals as prior issues.
The resolution of this series in the next issue is ripe with possibilities. Are the antiquities on the Imperialis Lando’s means of securing the rights to Cloud City on Bespin? Lobot was only mentioned in passing in this issue. In what shape will he emerge from the bacta tank after his injuries at the hands of the corrupted Imperial Guards? Finally, how do Lando, Lobot, and crew escape the notice of Emperor Palpatine once this adventure is all over?
The art is very even in this series and in this issue. It is very unique when compared to the art of the other Star Wars series that Marvel has produced thus far. There isn’t a particular action panel that stuck out, but there is one piece of art that shone slightly more than the rest. Chanath Cha manages to get the drop on Sava Pers and Lando Calrissian aboard the Imperialis. She is about to dress them both down, and she is taken off guard by the fact that it is Lando aboard this ship. This realization dawns on her in a well-paced series of panels, of which the best features Lando’s reflection in the Mandalorian style visor of her helmet. It is simply a beautiful piece of art and the favorite panel of this issue.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.