Han Solo and Chewbacca are back at it! While I certainly enjoyed the first issue of Marc Guggenheim’s series, issue #2 is a much smoother ride. He settles into writing Han Solo and portraying exactly the kind of Han we expect to see in the height of his smuggling days. The perfect balance of that smug and jaded smuggler with hints of the sentimental good guy we all know he is are woven throughout the issue. Now let’s dive into it.
We pick up immediately where we left off. Han has been confronted by his “dad” on Corellia. As you can see by the picture below Han isn’t really buying the story having “almost pulled that con on someone before”. Han packs a good punch, and if my memory serves me correctly, the only time we ever see Han truly lay down the right hook is when he punches Lando in the face in Episode V. Moral of the story is you don’t want to be on the wrong side of Han’s fist.
Regardless of whether it’s his dad or not, there is still a job to be done, and Ovan can help them. If you recall, Han, Chewie, and Greedo are on a mission to retrieve the ashes of one of Jabba’s greatest rivals; a task Jabba wants done swiftly. Ovan claims to work in the shipyards just as Han’s dad did years ago. He has access to the equipment they need to break into the heavily guarded safe where the ashes are locked away. Ovan gets the equipment they need, and Han swipes some security uniforms so they can slip inside the building.
While our crew is beginning their stealth mission Marshal Buck Vancto is still on the prowl for Han Solo. He travels to Tatooine to confront Bib Fortuna about his whereabouts. There is history between these two as Vancto claims Fortuna owes him, and I am curious as to what exactly went down between them. Ultimately, we are led to assume Bib divulges the location of Han with assurances from Vancto that he will still allow the others to complete their mission. This image was particularly striking to me. It’s simple enough with Vancto and Fortuna simply walking through the market on Mos Espa, but the stormtroopers lurking in the background are a reminder of how omnipresent the empire is.
Once inside the building, Han tells Greedo to get busy picking the lock to the door so they can get to the safe. I almost feel bad for poor ol Greedo this issue. He comes across as yet another pathetic life form. He fails to pick the lock he claimed he could, and then on his way out he steals a vase of sorts that comes back to bite them later. Han takes matters into his own hands because, of course, why would he not.
Before Greedo’s incompetence was brought to the light of day, Han and Ovan had some time to talk. Han still doesn’t believe Ovan is his father and is confident nothing will convince him. It was at this moment he is shown a picture of him and his father that Ovan has safeguarded all this time. It seems as if this starts to turn Han around, and he even shares with Ovan how he still has the dice he gave him all those years ago. This was a great moment as we saw the shield of the jaded smuggler lifted for one moment to reveal the somewhat affectionate man he truly is.
Han tricks the security guards into opening the door for him, and then he gets to work trying to slice open the safe itself. Han has never struck me as the “reads the instructional manual” type and rather than ask the expert next to him how to use the equipment, he just hops on and gets to work. Reminds me of every time I play a new game.
To their horror, they crack open the safe and discover it’s empty. The urn of ashes is nowhere to be found, and security is bound to be onto them soon. They must get out and regroup. Thankfully, they have a trusted Wookiee acquiring their getaway vehicle.
Finally, this is where it all truly falls apart. The vase that Greedo greedily stole had a tracker stuck to the bottom. Now, the whole building is on lockdown, and they have no clue how to escape. This doesn’t stop Han from finding the time to berate Greedo for his idiocy, however. There’s never too little time for that in Han’s world.
This issue was loads of fun. It had the perfect pacing for a Han Solo adventure comic, with enough of his classic humor and quick wit to keep you smiling. I hope Chewie becomes a bit more prominent as the series continues despite the difficulties of writing in a Wookiee. We got a glimpse of him raging at least. I hope Marshall Buck Vancto becomes the overarching villain, or it will seem a little odd to keep coming back to him and building up this future encounter. I can’t wait to dive deeper into Han and Ovan’s relationship as well! It was a wonderful issue from beginning to end.