|LANDO No. 4, November 2015|
Reportedly “cooler than ice cold”, at least as far as writer Charles Soule is concerned, this issue’s titular character takes something of a back seat role within the narrative in order to allow the New Yorker more time to focus upon the corruption of the Dark Side of the Force. In fact, apart from having Lando hastily flee the scene of Aleksin’s abrupt betrayal and then argue with Korin Pers as to whether they should escape the Emperor’s “luxury yacht”, the “one-time owner of the Millennium Falcon” is noticeably absent from much of this comic’s main storyline.
Instead, the 61,542 readers who made this particular twenty-page periodical the eleventh best-selling comic of September 2015, are presented with a harsh lesson as to just how persuasive and overwhelming the Sith Order can actually be. Especially when one is an alien clone warrior who has been potentially hypnotised by a robotic-looking head purportedly crafted by the ancient Lord Momin. For within just a handful of panels since first staring at the “treasure trove of ancient Sith artefacts” the black panther-headed Aleksin has not only ignited a red double-bladed lightsaber similar to that famously used by Darth Maul. But has used the saberstaff to sever the right forearm of his former “love” with whom he was planning on bringing up his offspring with; “Has something happened to me? I hadn’t noticed.”
Not quite so surprising and somewhat less shocking, is the fact that Palpaltine’s “personal fixer” Chanath Cha is presumably a former love interest of Calrissian. The “merciless hunter” had been, up until this revelation, stealthily stalking Lando and his antiquity specialist since arriving on board the Imperialis through the spacecraft’s “access hatch just aft of its rear sensor array”, and generating a fair bit of moody suspense as a result. Sadly though all of this nicely developed anticipation quickly evaporates as soon as the “lady” mercenary holsters her blaster, removes her odd retro-looking helmet and is greeted by “the galaxy’s greatest fool” with a “Well, hey, hey, hey.”
Just as unconvincing as Soule’s attempt to capture the “incomparable” silver screen performance of Billy Dee Williams with his supposedly witty writing is Alex Maleev’s drawings of Aleksin using a lightsaber. Not only does the Bulgarian illustrator depict the tall lithe fighter as little more than an awkward cumbersome killer. But the alien’s confrontation with his “dear Pavol” disappointingly lacks any sort of life or vibrant energy whatsoever. Something which is actually quite astounding considering the penciller’s dynamic depictions of Lando as the ‘scoundrel’ races through the yacht’s dark corridors.
|Writer: Charles Soule, Artist: Alex Maleev, and Colors: Paul Mounts|