Monday, 24 August 2015

Lando #2 - Marvel Comics

LANDO No. 2, October 2015
Following the disappointing depiction of an arguably somewhat unrecognisable and unappealing Lando Calrissian stealing “an imperial luxury yacht undergoing a refit at the Siernar Fleet Systems shipyard” in his mini-series’ previous issue, writer Charles Soule disheartening demonstrates an even greater lack of knowledge of George Lucas’ smooth-talking charmer within this twenty-page periodical. For having succeeded in his heist, thanks in large to “the aid of two cloned alien warriors (Aleksin and Pavol) and an Ugnaught antiquities expert”, the galactic adventurer lamentably spends the entirety of "Lando - Part Two" sat within the vessel’s cockpit issuing orders so as to evade the tractor beams of three pursuing star destroyers.

Such a somewhat sedentary plot, whilst admittedly being slightly reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon’s thrilling flight from the Imperial forces orbiting Hoth in the 1980 motion picture “The Empire Strikes Back”, is a far cry from the action arguably anticipated for a title featuring so swashbuckling a rogue. Indeed it comes as little surprise that eventually even the Brooklyn-born author himself apparently tires of the tiny ship tediously dodging gravity-based mines in outer space and instead rather randomly ‘whisks’ the reader away to the watery-world of Amethia Prime in The Inner Rim so as to witness the superman-like caped bounty hunter Chanath Cha capture a local, unimaginatively named crime boss called Big String.

This somewhat lengthy, though thoroughly entertaining, high-speed boat chase lasts for almost a third of the book and provides ample evidence that when he puts his mind to it the New York Times best-selling author can script an enjoyably competent sci-fi sequence. Discouragingly however even this scene is worryingly unoriginal and strongly reminiscent of an old Thirties Buster Crabbe Hollywood serial as the armoured recovery agent ‘socks’ his way past his frog-faced fugitive’s masked minions; “Whatever they’re paying you for me, I can beat it.”

Undoubtedly adding to this publication’s palatable atmosphere of disappointment and disenchantment is Alex Maleev’s irrepressibly robotic-looking drawings. In fact the artwork of the Bulgarian painter has probably seldom looked worse, with Billy Dee Williams’ likeness constantly being depicted with ‘the shiniest nose in space’. Whilst the Emperor’s sharpest “needle” Chanath Cha looks like some bizarre amalgamation of every superhero costume conceived during the Golden Age of Comics.
Writer: Charles Soule, Artist: Alex Maleev, and Colors: Paul Mounts

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