The War of the Bounty Hunters crossover continues as Valance and Dengar track Boba Fett to Nar Shadaa in pursuit of Solo. After last weeks stellar first issue of the main series, this issue focuses more on individual characters and the connective tissue this crossover provides. While I’m sure reading all issues for this event is the best way to experience it, this issue lends itself to the idea that if you want the main story without confusion, you can simply read the main War of the Bounty Hunters five-issue miniseries. This issue does little to forward the narrative from last weeks issue, it seems doubtful a lot of the tie-in issues will, instead focusing on fleshing out the revelations from last week. Spoilers ahead…..
After losing Fett’s trail on Nar Shadaa, Dengar has an idea. He has an arms dealer contact at the market.
Dengar recommends letting him do the talking as it has taken years to build up his trust, Valance decides just to punch the guy in the middle of the market and demand he start talking. As time goes on Valance seems to become less and less of a rational person in this series.
Honorable mention to this guy below selling Gungan grenades; there really is a black market for everything!
Valance’s plan doesn’t go well, to no one’s surprise, they’re surrounded by goons and the duo have to fight them off. The noise gets the attention of two other market patrons: Chewbacca and C-3PO. The rebel duo are there to meet a contact of Chewbacca’s: Sagwa, the fellow Wookiee he met at the Kessel mine in Solo.
The timeline here is a little confusing: It’s set between two scenes in Star Wars #13, last month’s prelude issue, but (as we are now finding out) both this issue and that one were set after the opening events of last weeks War of the Bounty Hunters #1. This isn’t important at all and most people won’t notice but as a timeline junkie, it’s satisfying to make sense of it.
Valance, pursuing the arms dealer, runs directly into Chewbacca, who remembers him from the flashbacks of the last issue.
Chewbacca still hasn’t forgiven the bounty hunter for trying to kill Han; between punches Valance tries to explain that it was all a misunderstanding. Dengar sits back and enjoys the chaos.
That is until he’s knocked into the action and Chewbacca see’s him. Dengar attacked and electrocuted Chewbacca way back in Star Wars #11 of the the first run set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. This is a nice little callback considering the comic was published over five years ago and references to these interactions give a nice sense of connectivity.
Dengar gets knocked out almost straight away. Though he’s not been portrayed as a particularly adept bounty hunter in this series, it would be nice to see Dengar do something right at some point!
Valance gets the chance to explain things to Chewie, that he didn’t know the target was Solo when he took the assassination job, and that Han saved his life in the Imperial academy.
Chewbacca accepts Valance’s admission and apology, ending the fight. The Wookiee, through C-3PO’s translation, proceeds to lay down the law for the bounty hunter; that he doesn’t want his help right now, but may do in the future.
Dengar and Valance then get their chance to interrogate the arms dealer. With a little ‘persuading’ he tells them why Jabba put the bounty on Boba Fett. Crimson Dawn stole Solo, but Jabba believed it was because Fett had sold him, therefore putting the bounty on him; catching our characters up to what we learned last week.
Valance doesn’t believe that Crimson Dawn is back until a sniper shoots the contact and the two hide for cover.
Fun fact: The sniper assassin after them is called Deathstick and is the daughter of a Nightsister, first appearing in the 2015 mobile game Star Wars: Uprising.
This issue also has a side plot where T’onga and Losha land on Dotharian to find the grandfather of Cadeliah, then get surround by Crimson Dawn soldiers and the scene cuts away.
Overall, this was a pretty uneventful issue that really only does two things: sets up Chewbacca to ask for Valance’s help later in the series and has our characters discover the reemergence of Crimson Dawn (Something we already knew). The issue doesn’t do much with the plot and Sacks writing still feels clunky and a little wooden. It does have some redeeming features though: a few of the lighter moments in the issue work and the intense connective tissue with other parts of the Star Wars universe is always fun to see. Hopefully, we can expect more from the crossovers going forward.