Comic Review: Lando – Double or Nothing #2

Published: June 27, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Penciler: Paolo Villanelli
Cover Artist: William Forbes

Synopsis;

Lando Calrissian isn’t one to stick his neck out…unless there’s credits to be had for it. So, when he finds himself fighting for oppressed workers in a droid junkyard, they’d better hope their freedom is worth something to him…

The story;

Orbit of Kullgroon.

Having evaded the attack from the TIE Fighters, Lando is perched in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon recording his ‘Calrissian Chronicles’ of the events. He is interrupted by Kristiss and L3-37 and he is not happy. He feels as though has been tricked into smuggling weapons and they interrupted him recording mid-chronicle. Ellthree warns Lando that the Imperial patrol ships have locked onto their signal. He acts quickly and powers the Falcon down and glides out of orbit and heads for the planet’s surface with the help of Kullgroon’s gravity. Ellthree agrees this is a brilliant move and they have now lost the Imperial ships. Kristiss asks what is next, Lando claims that although he looks like he’s gifted, he does need time to think and tells her to relax while they glide towards the surface. Lando decides that the wastelands are their best chance for landing.

Wastelands of Kullgroon.

The Imperials won’t be guarding a trash dump. Kristiss is anxious to join up with her father, Rythus, he knows the area and help decide how to get the weapons to the Petrusian’s. Lando suggests walking in as the stormtroopers backs are turned, but Ellthree suggest she infiltrate the site of the droid processing factory as she will not look out of place. Lando reminds them that he is running the mission, but does agree with Ellthree, but with a tweak of his own.

Lando thinks the area is creepy, he suggests leaving the weapons there for Rythus to find. Kristiss is not sure that would lead to a great ‘Calrissian Chronicle’, but Lando adds that he won’t be able to record that if he’s dead. Kristiss loses her patience and offers him more credits to keep quiet, Ellthree steps in to separate them suggesting they split up and stay in touch. They are happy if it speeds the job up.

Later.

Lando calls for Ellthree on his comm-link, she is approaching a terminal and accesses the Imperial network. Kristiss has been captured by Stormtroopers, Lando suggest they leave now, but Ellthree reminds that credits for the job won’t be paid and Brushaun he will still owe Brushaun the money. Begrudgingly he agrees and Ellthree gets him some access codes, if Lando rescues Kristiss it will make a fine ‘Calrissian Chronicle’.

Out on his own, while fantasising about his fame and notoriety, Lando is approached by some figures in the distance and they open fire. He dives for cover as he returns fire with his blaster. He takes out his attackers one by one and hears engines above him. Ships are fast approaching and they too open fire on him. In his escape he dives into a disused hangar where a skyhopper is stowed. He climbs in and takes the controls and heads after his assailants. The battle is furious and Lando wishes he was in the Falcon for its comfort and his skyhopper is hit and explodes.

Kristiss is held in a sunken detention cell. She pulls out a small comm-link and calls out for Lando. No reply, so she tries to get Ellthree. She is in a long queue of droids entering the factory and is surprised to hear she is alive. As Ellthree approaches the front of the queue she realises that the droids at the head of it are being dismantled. She bolts for her freedom. With that Kristiss’s cell is opened and she is ordered to go with the stormtrooper guarding her.

Deep in the Wastelands.

Lando’s unconscious form is dragged unceremoniously into a clearing between buildings. He is lifted and secured to a wall by his wrists and ankles. Something big is approaching as he stirs, from the top of an AT-DT a figure welcomes him to the wastelands.

The Review;

The direct edition cover is by William Forbes and shows Ellthree and Lando approaching the droid factory on Kullgroon. I do like this as I think it has a great ambience to the cover, especially with the droid hanging on the left-hand side. The variant cover is by Cameron Stewart showing Lando posing with a background of Ellthree and the Falcon. Although I do like the cover, it does feel a bit ‘Austin Powers’, this is emphasised for me by the font used for the title.

After a fairly strong opening issue, I’m not sure about this one. I think the ego of Lando feels overplayed and overstated. The story has a good steady flow to it, but at the moment I don’t like the character of Lando. This is obviously set pre-Solo, but I feel that it is bit off from what I was expecting when compared to Donald Glover’s portrayal. The character seems too mercenary for the Lando we know and love. There is plenty of time left in this series for Rodney Barnes to bring out the better side of Lando.

One thing I do love is the writing of Ellthree. I found that this was very good, humorous and conceited in her forthright views. Also, the character is drawn so well.

The artwork throughout is very good. Something I look for is consistency of the main characters, but also the accuracy of drawing other character, stormtroopers especially. These have taken many wild and varied forms over the years, but Paolo Villanelli has done really well on this count. I love the use of 1 and 2 page artwork spreads during a storyline and although they are quite rare. I am treated one in this issue and I was pleased with its impact. The colours for the panels are nice and vibrant, just like Lando’s capes!

Although slightly disappointed, I am still looking forward to issue 3. I really hope that it can get the storyline going.

Availability;

This is a mini-series consisting of 5 issues. This issue was released on 27th June 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.

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Steve Galloway
Steve was 5 years old when he saw Star Wars for the first time during its first UK cinema release. He considers himself a first generation Star Wars fan and in his own words is a ‘Child of 77’.