Straight from the frames of the highly-anticipated film SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY swaggers a younger and somehow even cockier Lando Calrissian! Before his days in the Rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, even before he lost the Millennium Falcon, comes this tale of Lando’s adventures and misadventures in search of love and money leading right up to his appearance in SOLO!
In orbit above the planet Batuv, Imperial Star Destroyers watch as a flotilla of ships approach the planet. Amongst those ships is a sleek white and blue Corellian YT-1300 freighter. On board Lando Calrissian and his droid companion L3-37 debate the new leather for the couches in the communal area of the ship. Ellthree believes the money will be better spent on upgrading the defence and communications systems, but Land will have none of it.
Workers on an assembly line are watched by stormtroopers. One of them raises a hand to his ear to activate his hidden comm device. He contacts his daughter Kristiss. The security change is in 3 days and this will be there chance for freedom. She will obtain the weapons, but she will need to get them to him. A stormtrooper berates him for slacking at his work and he cuts off the comm device. Kristiss now needs a smuggler get the weapons planet side to free the Petrusia from the Imperial control. She knows of a smuggler, but he is not cheap.
Lando is bartering for the leather coverings for the couches on the Falcon, he disputes the hide is what the vendor says it is, but he agrees a price and asks Ellthree to organise delivery. A hooded figure approaches him, he asks if she is a fan or a bounty hunter. Kristiss introduces herself and explains she is a Petrusian barterer and that her farther and many other Petrusian’s are being held as a slave in the droid repair factory on Kullgroon. She needs a smuggler to help arm her people, so they can gain their freedom. Lando is no martyr, but she needs a smuggler with a conscience and his skill set. According to him that skill set costs, an offer of 1,000 credits up front and 500 on completion is made. He refuses the job, but she asks if they go for a drink and hopes he can suggest another smuggler that will help.
Standing at the bar in a cantina, they share a joke as an alien call’s to Lando and pushes him. Brushaun accuses Lando of cheating at cards and wants his 2,000 credits back. Kristiss’s associates hold him back as she makes her escape with Lando. She knows that Brushaun will eventually catch up with him until his debt is squared, but Lando is still unsure. She stops and kisses him and says he has until the morning to make his decision, then turns and flees through the streets.
Back on the Falcon, Lando is mulling over the offer with Ellthree. Ellthree says she would take on the job for free to release her own kind. Lando needs credits to make his wet bar and his portrait to decorate it a reality. Ellthree retorts that if Brushaun isn’t paid soon, he will be too dead to enjoy it.
The weapons are being loaded on the Falcon, Kristiss want her team to go with them, but Lando declines. In the cockpit she watches on as they make orbit, Lando asks how a criminal became a freedom fighter. She is a survivor, not born to be a slave, she has a fighting sprit. The credits to pay for the job are from her and her father and they want to re-establish a colony off Kullgroon. She had hoped once he knew the full story he would lower his fee, but Lando won’t if his hide is on the line.
An alert sounds in the cockpit, they are under attack from TIE fighters. Ellthree take the control and Lando heads for the gun turret and takes his seat. They are taking heavy fire and the shields are only just holding. Unable to take out their pursuers Lando tells Ellthree to circle the moon to their starboard side and perform a complete drop. The Falcon skims the surface and on Lando’s mark the ships veers downward. The TIE’s fast approach, but Lando is ready for them and blasts them to oblivion.
Lando struts back into the cockpit expecting adulation from his fellow travellers, but Ellthree stops his celebrations and gives him a reality check that they fast approaching Kullgroon.
There are 4 variants above beyond the standard cover for the first of this mini-series, of which 2 are taken from stills from the recently released Solo: A Star Wars Story. There is a rather nice John Tyler Christopher Vintage figure variant on ‘new’ Lando in his Vandor outfit and then 2 nice drawn covers. The Quinones shows Lando holding a female Twi’lek in his arms, but the standard cover for me is the best. It’s a great illustration of the man himself, with the pre-Kessel Run Falcon speeding across the bottom part.
I loved the ‘Solo’ style opening page rather than the traditional crawl, a nice way to open the issue. You don’t need to have seen Solo: A Star Wars Story to understand the story, but it may help if you understand the interaction between Lando and Ellthree. This is captured brilliantly by Rodney Barnes’s dialogue and is one of the highlights of this issue. It is a love hate relationship, but it’s more like bickering lovers than anything else.
The story setup is standard Lando Calrissian fayre. Lando owes money to someone he’s cheated; he needs to pay that debt, or he’ll be a dead man; he takes a job that he isn’t wholly comfortable with and thinks he’ll come out of it in profit and to everyone’s acclaim. But as we all know, that’s not going to happen, or is it?
The artwork is of a high standard. The likeness for Lando and Ellthree are great, even the new characters are very consistent throughout. The colours are very bright and stand out well and are in tune with the ‘Lando’ style of things.
I really enjoyed the feel of this comic from start to finish. It’s an easy read with a quick flowing storyline.
I’m already looking forward to the second issue.
This is a mini-series consisting of 5 issues. This issue was released on 30th May 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.