Bossk takes centre stage in Bounty Hunters #11 as he proves just how deadly he is in ‘The Great Hunt of Malastare’. This issue makes for a nice gap between the ongoing, interconnected storyline of the last few issues and the upcoming crossover event ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’. So lets jump in!
The issues picks up shortly where we left off, with a captured Dengar aboard Valance’s recently liberated pirate ship. Valance learned Han Solo is in carbonite and Boba Fett has him. In a nice tie in to Robbie Thompson’s 2018 mini-series Han Solo – Imperial Cadet, where Valance first appeared in the new canon, the cybernetic bounty hunter owes Solo for saving his life in the series. This means he can’t kill Dengar for betraying him but needs his help to track and go up against Boba Fett.
The two strike a deal. I hope this means we see some good Dengar action going forward, so far his appearances in the comics always make him seem a little incompetent.
We then cross to Malastare and catch up with Bossk as he hunts down Bounty Hunters during the ‘Great Hunt of Malastare’, where people pay for the privilege to hunt prisoners. Bossk, a prisoner himself for some yet unknown reason, is surrounded by unarmed inmates, banding with the Trandoshan in the slim hope of surviving the wastelands.
Next, we meet Second Vice Chair Exum Jermit, of the banking clan.
If his species look familiar it’s because they are heavily associated with the banking clan and appeared in Attack of the Clones.
Jermit is speaking with someone out of panel about how the hunting grounds are bound by only one rule: kill or be killed, and he pays heavily for that privilege. In a surprising appearance it’s revealed Jermit is talking to none other than Jabba the Hutt’s right hand man Bib Fortuna. Fortuna, on behalf of Jabba, is offering the banking clan one last chance to partner with them, rather than a mysterious business partner they’re currently with.
Jermit denies the offer, unwilling to break the Banking Clan’s word to their current partner and excuses himself for the hunt, along with his paid entourage.
The hunt continues as Bossk and his people kill a pair of Dugs. The team then make it to the edge of the valley, where they see a ship they can escape in.
Meanwhile, Jermit and his crew kill a lone prisoner. Bossk taking out the Dug hunters gets their attention and now they are on the hunt for the Trandoshan. Bossk’s ‘allies’ realise all too late he was simply using them as bait. All but one of them are mowed down by the hunters.
This is where all carnage breaks loose and we see just how deadly Bossk is. Paolo Villanelli’s art is the best it’s ever been for the series in this issue, as we see one person who can give Bossk a run for his money, Grummgar.
The two giants seem to be equally matched, until Bossk gets the upper hand and slams down on Grummgar with a rock, leaving him semi-conscious on the floor, the only one of Jermit’s crew left alive. This is because of two reasons: Firstly, Bossk wishes to fight him again.
Secondly, because he needs to survive to go on and appear in The Force Awakens!
Jermit reaches the ship, seeing Bib Fortuna he begs him to grant him passage on the ship to escape Bossk’s wrath. Bib reveals that Bossk works for him, and will only save Jermit if he reneges on his deal with the unkown party and renegotiates with Jabba. Jermit says he can’t do that, apparently overwhelmingly scared of this unkown organisation. It will be very interesting to hopefully find out who they are in the coming issues and how they can be scarier than both the Hutt’s and the Empire.
With Fortuna’s hope that Jermit’s successor will be more agreeable to negotiations with Jabba, him and Bossk leave the planet and Bossk is informed of his next job, one that will apparently be ‘a little more….difficult’. Meanwhile, Valance and Dengar get a lead of their own: Fett’s ship.
It’s all going to kick off next issue now that all our main bounty hunters are primed for the crossover. Issue #12 will serve as a prelude so will hopefully expand on the Han Solo/Valance story.
This was a very visual issue – the art and a simple story is what really carries it. Sometimes Bounty Hunters has a tendency to try and be clever but ends up a little too complicated, this issue finds footing in a linear one act structure. The writing is still a little clunky at times and there are a couple of over-the-top, cheesy lines but for the most part it all comes together nicely and hopefully the series continues the upward trend of these last few issues. For all the Bossk fans out there, this issue is truly about him and his thirst for the hunt.