Story: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Paul Fry
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
The Return Of [REDACTED]! Outgunned and outnumbered, Chewie makes a daring escape from prison! Greedo is on the run, and you won’t believe who is after him! [REDACTED] is back! And boy, are they mad!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a decent run of issues so far that hasn’t quite hit its stride or found the right tone yet, it’s definitely been fun but kind of inessential in a way. Which is fine because sometimes you just want to have adventures with characters you like, which is why I had tons of Han and Chewie stories as a kid with my action figures. Marc Guggenheim may not have cracked the code but he has loosened it up significantly where there’s a good feel to this that comes across as pre-ANH Han Solo. Here, he’s joined by Paul Fry on the art duties and we get a solid piece that captures the Star Wars design and aesthetic and is trying to bring in some of that youthful Solo that predates Ford’s ANH period. He was leading man material then but was over a decade older than the other two main leads.
With the book ending with Han being shot the last time around – not the first time in his life – this one has him seemingly dead at Greedo’s hands. But others on the ship aren’t keen on this and when he’s discovered to be barely alive, Greedo’s ready to kill again. That has them instead just dropping him off near-dead on a beach on some random planet and scooting away. So Han finds himself now spending some time with a recovery period that involves a lot of drinking in a place where nobody speaks Basic. The only thing that finally gets him to get moving is when he sees a newsnet broadcast about Chewie being lined up for execution in prison. It’s not totally out of line with how he’d just spin in neutral for a bit after such an event but the timeline for it is just a little odd and with Han needing to get both Chewie and the Falcon back in his life, it’s not the greatest of moments for him.
With Chewie and those with him in the prison, they’ve basically had all the luck in the world fall into place in order to orchestrate an escape. It’s one that plays out in a fairly standard comic book way, which isn’t an insult, but after Andor it’s harder to read, especially with all the interconnected elements with Maz being here as well. It’s a bit light in some of the backgrounds and the way some of the “fight” sequences unfold, but it hits that kind of old-school feeling from the original trilogy to a degree. It’s a breezy affair here in bringing things to a close – and getting some our familiar mass murderers back out into the galaxy – before it all reconnects with Han at the end. Which in turn takes us back to Tatooine and that has another face-off with Greedo happening. The pursuit of the Falcon is something that happens way too much for Han and Chewie.
Part of the challenge for some fans like myself is that we have to remember that Star Wars is many different things to many different people and the franchise has to serve all of them. This series is one that I think would work better as a series of miniseries without changes in artists along the way so that it feels more defined and coherent. I’m not against stories about Han and Chewie in this period but I want them to feel a little richer and more meaningful in establishing him at this point in time and some of those that he ran with. A nod to Maz was a given based on the films and filling in some of those blanks but it needs to really resonate in a way that there’s decades of friendship ahead to build on. It’s a pretty light and breezy story here that’s a fun read in the moment but it’s only going to take you so far.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 16th, 2022