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Han Solo #5 Review

4 min read

han-solo-issue-5-coverA dangerous race right to the end!

Creative Staff:
Story: Marjorie Liu
Art: Mark Brooks
Colors: Sonia Oback & Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
This is it — the dramatic conclusion to the Dragon Void race! Will Han take the trophy? Or be left with the space junk? Our favorite scoundrel’s first miniseries comes to a photo finish!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Han Solo series draws to a close with this installment and it’s one that’s pretty much filled with racing once again. The Dragon Void race has dominated most of the issues outside of a few quiet moments here and there and I really do have to commend Mark Brooks once again as he really did a fantastic job bringing this to life. Races in general are hard to make engaging in this medium, never mind one in space. But between the layouts and design work plus the fantastic color work from Oback and Milla, the series looked and felt engaging as hell and you could hear the roar of the engines and the blasts of the lasers while reading it with how well it was captured. The story itself still doesn’t do a whole lot for me and it felt like it could have been an installment shorter, but so much wondrous artwork.

With Han having decided that the race is the thing, though the big picture is still a part of it as well, the final leg of the Dragon Void race is one that’s been made more dangerous with the Empire chasing them directly with a Star Destroyer. It’s a great visual as is having the other pilots frustrated as hell by this twist in an already dangerous and unpredictable race lashing out when they can. Of course, it’s more complicated within the Falcon as well since those he’s with. Dorae and U’il in particular, are very unhappy about everything being put at risk. The chapter takes a curious turn with a quick murder aboard the ship and it just feels incredibly out of place and almost like a throwaway piece, particularly since the main thrust of it is Han’s anger over it happening in his home. Then again, the entire actual mission within this series has felt like a secondary at best plot so there’s not exactly a lot lost here.

The subplot that takes up a good bit of space here at the end is one that I do like as it involves Loo Re Anno as she’s intent on getting through the gate first and reconnecting with her species. There’s a twist to the gate and her species past that feels like it requires its own special or series to explore, but I really enjoyed the dialogue and bond that seemed to form between her and Han over the course of the race and in particular with this issue. Though Han keeps saying Chewie is the noble one of the pair, this is another reminder that there’s more to him than he lets on and seeing what he does, and how that act ends up saving so many others, is a reward unto itself. Plus we get Brooks illustrating huge space jellyfish creature that eats up a Star Destroyer. How is that not worthwhile?

In Summary:
The Han Solo series is one that I suspect will read better when read in full, something I want to revisit in a couple of months after giving it some time to breathe as I found parts of it rather frustrating over the course of the run. Liu manages to capture Han well enough as the book progresses and I like the ideas behind it but it just felt like it ended up focusing so much on the race that it lost the story itself. The big win is for fans who enjoy the visual side of the story as Mark Brooks and team simply kill it across the board, making this a hugely rich and engaging work that’s worth the time just for that alone. Definitely an interesting project overall but one that didn’t have enough meat on its bones to earn the installments it ran.

Grade: B-

Age Rating: 9+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: November 23rd, 2016
MSRP: $3.99