Thursday, 10 June 2021

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #11 - Marvel Comics

Nicely bookended by a scene on the Outer Rim in which Beilert Valance partners up with Dengar the Demolisher so as to track down the Corellian smuggler Han Solo, the vast majority of “The Great Hunt Of Malastare” actually focuses upon “a special solo adventure starring the most savage bounty hunter of all” rather than this ongoing series’ usual cybernetically-enhanced central protagonist. Yet whilst such a decision by Ethan Sacks might have perturbed some readers who were looking forward to another tale concerning the former Carida Imperial Academy cadet, those willing to give the infamous Trandoshan, Bossk'wassak'Cradossk, a moment in the American author’s spotlight were probably far from disappointed.

Indeed, this twenty-page periodical’s plot is absolutely packed full of sense-shattering action, plenty of the lizard-like killer’s trademark ferocious savagery, “some of the most dangerous scum in the galaxy”, a handful of wonderfully-penned moments of bold-faced treachery, and a great cameo by Jabba the Hutt's majordomo, Bib Fortuna; “Be careful out there. A lone hunter can be… vulnerable without the right kind of friends.”

Furthermore, Sack’s script for Issue Eleven of “Star War: Bounty Hunters” also provides a fascinating insight into just how utterly cold-blooded Bossk can be when presented with both a lucrative contract on a desperately dangerous planet and a motley group of unsuspecting innocents who’ll prove the perfect Judas goats when the opportunity arises. True, few bibliophiles were probably caught off-guard when the Wookie hunter willingly sacrifices his na├»ve entourage to the deadly gunfire of the group’s pursuers, simply so he could mark his opponents’ positions on the high ground. But that still doesn’t arguably stop the Trandoshan’s brutal act from being any less shocking, especially when he later indicates he feels the sole survivor should actually thank him for outliving the ordeal.

Paolo Villanelli’s pulse-pounding pencilling also adds plenty of barbaric swagger to the character of Cradossk’s son during this comic, most notably whenever the “scaly horror” feels his authority or ability as a natural born killer is being questioned. The Italian artist’s sequence depicting Bossk literally tearing through Vice Chair Jermit’s heavily-armed henchmen with little more than a blade and a rock is the highlight of this publication, and rather enjoyably seems to set-up a future rematch between Bossk and the Dowutin mercenary, Grummgar, at the same time.

The regular cover art for "STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS" #11 by Mattia De Iulis

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