Published: May 15th, 2019
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Matteo Buffagni
Cover Artist: Terry & Rachel Dodson
CLOUD CITY BLUES!
Former smuggler LANDO CALRISSIAN has a beautiful dream: a life of leisure and luxury as the totally legitimate BARON ADMINISTRATOR of CLOUD CITY. All he needs to do is take care of his money troubles with one last, big scam. But what will get in his way the most – his bad luck or this annoying sense of ethics he seems to be developing? Co-starring LOBOT!
Bespin. Cloud City.
The workers of Cloud City are up in arms, they haven’t been paid and tensions are running high. A blaster explodes in front of the crowd to bring order and announce the arrival of the Baron Administrator. He has the workers bonus payments and the drinks are on him.
From the balcony, he views the workers drinking in the bar. He has used his own money to bank roll the funds to appease them, he now needs to find the money for payroll in less than 36 hours and further loan payment in 18 hours. With no money to pay them, he needs to find a solution.
He meets with Bondeeni to finalise a deal. 10,000 credits due to him, but Bondeeni only wants to pay 2. Lando threatens him with an Imperial audit by his cousin, and he pays up, in full. Lobot didn’t know he had a cousin, and neither did he! 17% of the payroll sorted, he’s off to change his luck.
In depths of a casino, Lando tries to improve his stockpile of cash, but luck has left him on this occasion. Drowning his sorrows he is approached by Magnate Imperium Roz Fontaine, who is worth 17.2 billion credits according to Lobot. He has a proposition for Lando that will see him rich and care free of money worries and he will become Magnate Imperium. Lando has to remove his nephew from office, without hurting him, but this cannot be done by anyone from Fontaine’s species. Although they are long lived, their reproductive cycle is also lengthy and relatively low. He agrees and they set off together.
He arms himself up and proceeds to apprehend Fontaine’s nephew. He finds him surrounded by others, baiting a helpless creature. Lando brings a halt to their game and they attack him. Defending himself and without killing any of them, he disarms them until only the nephew is standing. He surrenders and is handed over to his uncle.
He is now, Magnate Imperium Calrissian and is adorned with a new cloak. Lobot confirms the wealth he has just inherited will sustain Cloud City for 100 years. Ready to retire for lunch, he asked to oversee the first shipment of cargo. 72 natives, being shipped out to the orgo-harvest facility on Dannamore.
A guard kicks out at one of the natives and Lando reacts angrily. These are people not fauna, he cannot allow this. Fontaine tells him this is the price for his new found wealth. He signals to Lobot and the native’s shackles deactivate, they are freed and attack their captors. Fontaine flees cursing Lando as he leaves.
It’s time for payroll and Lando is in his apartment. He drags a lock box from under his bed and opens it to reveal many credits. It was his start over money, but needs must, it’s the cost of doing business.
Terry Dodson, via his twitter account, shared some really interesting early stage versions of this week’s direct edition cover. He released pencil and ink versions of the over, so over the 4 pictures, from pencils, inks, colours and to lettering we can see how this cover truly evolved. It would be nice to see more artists put samples like this out over social media as it is such an interesting view of the work it takes to produce 1 cover. Although it’s not my favourite cover by him and Rachel so far, but it’s still a good one.
The next 3 covers are what have become the standards for the ‘Age of…’ series. The Lucasfilm movie cover is a production picture of the Baron Administrator. Then we have the McKone and Guru-eFX puzzle piece. I would have preferred this pose for the direct edition cover for this issue and vice versa. I really do like it though and is the best puzzle piece so far. The concept cover is by Nilo Rodis-Jamero and is unusual as I don’t ever recall seeing this artwork before. As concepts go, it is familiar and different to what we know at the same time and a very good cover.
He’s a scoundrel, but a scoundrel with morals. I think that is the way to some Lando Calrissian up. He’s so similar to Han Solo, but whereas Han is the rough and ready type, Calrissian is the smooth operator. Again, Greg Pak has caught him in the story perfectly. I can imagine Billy Dee-Williams or Donald Glover delivering the lines and the performance to bring these pages to life.
The story has a twist with the introduction of slaves and there you have it, the moral compass alert. Slavery and trafficking is rife through the Star Wars Galaxy in many ways shapes and forms. It’s good to see this brought into the storyline and it helps sell Lando’s character.
The fact that he and Lobot work so closely together, reinforces his double, double cross on Cloud City of Han then Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. His trusty aide helping him rescue the slaves and freeing them. A very similar situation to the Double or Nothing series, prior to Lobot, but then working with Ellthree.
I loved the artwork yet again. The artists have been changed around more for this series and this too has helped bring some lesser known artists to me, more to the forefront of my thinking.
‘Leave it to Lando’ is brought to us by Glenn Greenberg. A good article giving us a great insight into Lando.
This series is coming thick and fast, and just as we put this issue down, we have Jabba the Hutt’s story landing on the shelves on Wednesday.
This issue was released on 15th May 2019 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.