When STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI takes theaters in FORCE (get it?) this December, Star Wars fans will get a peek into some new dark corners of the Galaxy Far Away…and out of one of those corners scuttles DJ, the mysterious character played by Benicio Del Toro! Who is this mystery man, and what put him in the path of our Resistance heroes? Join Ben Acker & Ben Blacker (Star Wars Join the Resistance, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Storms of Crait) and Kev Walker (Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Darkhawk) as they reveal a day in DJ’s life just before his appearance in the film!
We met the mysterious codebreaker DJ (played by Benicio Del Toro) in a Canto Bight casino jail cell in The Last Jedi, when he crossed paths with Resistance fighters Finn and Rose. The issue opens with DJ at one of the casino game tables losing a small fortune while perplexing a droid with his choices and relaxed demeanor.
His enjoyment is interrupted by two detectives, Pol Opol and Oosha Choi, who are working on two robberies. One of the victims is an arms dealer and the other a charitable person who came to Cantonica as a contest winner. Both people were robbed of their self-stats and code cards. The theft instigated a gang war that led to the death of three police officers. The detectives discovered that the man behind it all is one Denel Strench. DJ is his only surviving associate, which is why they need his help. However, they cannot touch him because in Canto Bight the casinos hold jurisdiction.
As the detectives are escorted out, DJ continues gambling and winning big. We learn that the money he lost at the beginning of the story was just his way of slicing into the casino’s system and cheating them out of a larger sum of money. When the detectives and casino owner confront DJ outside, both are cheated out of getting their hands on him thanks to an armed escort from the other casino.
Moont from Melt is a dangerous man who enjoys both luxury and violence. DJ challenges him to catch him cheating, which will give Moont the opportunity to engage in his favorite hobby – breaking every bone in DJ’s body. The friendly game is interrupted by Flestic Crupp, one of victims of the original crime. DJ is flabbergasted when he finds out that Denel Strench helped Crupp find him. Because, as we learn, Strench does not exist – he was made up by DJ himself – yet the very same imaginary gangster betrayed him. With both the cops and vengeful gangsters on his tail, DJ needs to seek assistance from a friendly podracer with gambling debts. His only chance of survival is turning himself in to the cops.
We learn that a vengeful droid from the beginning of the story broke into DJ’s room and stole all necessary information. The droid is then destroyed and DJ is apprehended and taken to jail where Finn and Rose will soon meet him.
As he is taken away, DJ claims he only cheats terrible people. However it should be clarified that, in his cynical world view, those are the only kind of people that exist. Even the charitable person from the beginning of the story is, in actuality, a drug dealer. From his point of view, he is the only honest person.
If I am being completely honest, this feels like a completely superfluous issue. There is nothing in this story that we couldn’t surmise about DJ from The Last Jedi. He is a completely amoral character only looking out for number one. While the writers did a valiant job of demonstrating DJ’s skills, hardly any attempt was made to introduce some depth or complexity. He is a skilled scumbag who thinks the worst of people, and that’s all. The writers surrounded DJ with characters that feel more like caricatures than actual people, from hardened but honest detectives, to an evil and violent casino proprietor.
The comic was more successful in describing the setting of Canto Bight or, more precisely, the underbelly of the “lousy, beautiful town” which was hinted at in the movie. Under the posh and colorful surface lurks the violence and deception dynamically depicted by Kevin Walker’s art and Java Tartaglia’s vivid colors.
In the end however, DJ: Most Wanted is not what I would call an essential read for a Star Wars fan. Even if you were curious about DJ after watching The Last Jedi, I doubt this issue would give you much food for thought, offering little to enhance your view of the character. It is a shame, because the setting of Canto Bight could actually provide the background for more interesting Star Wars stories, but for now anyway, you can take it or leave it.
DJ: Most Wanted gets 5/10 STARS.