Review: Marvel’s Han Solo (trade paperback)
When the world discovered there would be a Han Solo movie, reactions seemed to be mixed at best. On the one hand, plenty of people were excited about the prospect of more movies. (And let’s face it: Donald Glover is the perfect choice for Lando.) On the other hand, it’s hard to separate Han Solo from Harrison Ford (and Alden Ehrenreich isn’t necessarily Harrison Junior). I know it would be hard to imagine a movie where Luke was played by anyone but Mark Hamill.
No matter where you land, however, the point remains: Han Solo is a fun character. He’s brash but loyal, charming but abrasive, and he always seems to find himself in some kind of trouble. Thankfully, Marvel’s Han Solo series not only does justice to the character, but also gives us a story that enriches the movies.
Set after A New Hope, the reader finds Han Solo struggling with commitment issues. His internal monologue justifies it as being “careful,” but the reality is after the Death Star, he’s finding himself scared. As a result, his reputation is starting to become compromised. However, things turn around when, after being approached by Leia, he (begrudgingly) accepts a mission to connect with a set of Rebel informants during the infamous Dragon’s Void race. Leia reminds him the mission comes first, but in typical Han fashion, he’s confident he can do both.
Whether it’s the traps laid out throughout the course or the Empire halting the race, things don’t go quite as Han and Chewie plan. They manage to make contact with their informants (along with a few new and old friends), but in the end, things come perilously close to falling apart. A traitor is somewhere on the Falcon, and while it’s not an absolute surprise, the end result is quite humorous.
The strength of the series is Han’s interaction with others. Of course, it goes without saying: Han and Chewie are a perfect pair. NO questions asked. As for the race, the other pilots view him as inexperienced and unworthy of the race because he’s a smuggler. They have been training for this race for their entire lives, whereas Han seems “below” them. By the end of the race, of course, things change, but Han earns their respect; it’s not freely given. It’s unlikely we will see most of these new characters again, but for the role they played, I have no complaints.
Personally, my favorite scenes are when Han and Leia are together. Considering how much seems to have changed between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, it’s good to see the development and growth. It helps add more depth to the budding relationship we witness in Episode V.
As for the design work, Marvel chose a great team to bring this story to life. The characters are drawn consistently and crisply; the coloring is nothing short of breathtaking and appropriately fits the Dragon Void setting. The dialogue seems natural, as well; something, by and large, each comic series has managed to (thankfully) capture. While design work is obviously important when it comes to comics, nothing is worse than writers who cannot write their characters well.
While the series has no evident connection to the upcoming movie, Marvel’s Han Solo proves there are still more stories to tell about our favorite scoundrel. That alone has me excited for what’s to come!
Pick up Marvel’s Han Solo now from Amazon.
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release date: January 04, 2017
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Penciler: Mark Brooks
Colorists: Sonia Back with Matt Milla (#4)