By Marjorie Liu, Mark Brooks, Dexter Vines, Sonia Oback, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Who doesn’t love a good Han Solo story? No one, and that is why Marvel’s brilliant acquisition of Star Wars properties should be applauded. Now, we have monthly access to swoon and admire everyone’s favorite galactic smuggler. Han Solo Part #3 has is gloriously crafted by Marjorie Liu to show off Han Solo’s best character trait, being underestimated against diversity. Princess Leia sent him on a mission to uncover a hidden spy amidst her informants. To do so, he must race the Millennium Falcon in the Dragon Void. This race is known across the galaxy for it’s brutal nature, but those who compete are also as revered from planet to planet. Can Han handle not only surviving the race, but also find time to look for traitor amongst the informants? He also has to compete with his newfound celebrity bringing some unwanted attention to himself and his endeavors in the Dragon Void. This has all the makings to be another great Han Solo chapter in the great Star Wars catalogue.
This story is really charming with a witty narrative provided by Solo throughout the book. Liu is really delivering some action packed Space adventures that are carefully folded between some nice little pieces of emotional touch points. The issue starts with some stormtroopers attempting to stop the Dragon Void, and we get to see some real concern from Leia start to brew around Han and his well-being. It’s at this point in the comic that Liu displays some compassion from Han regarding a fellow rider that lays some groundwork for something further along in the story.
A key thing missing from this story is the lack of Chewbacca/Han Solo banter that we so come to expect from Han Solo stories. Sure, we get a few panels of it, but you get the impression Liu is not relying on Chewie to develop Han into a full fleshed-out hero, but more so on his actions. Han Solo Part #3 really gives some insight into what makes Han Solo tick like, why he puts himself in these precarious situations while also giving you the impression he has pissed off a lot of people with his devil-may-care attitude.
The art in this book is out of this world. Okay, seriously the art is really good with Brooks on pencils, inks by Vines, colors by Oback and letters from Caramagna. This issue features a lot of detail and expression work around the characters that sets the tone before your eyes can even read the script on the page. The lines are crisps and the panel placement is great for moving the pace during some dialogue-heavy moments, but slowing down during some action moments. A great double-page splash awaits you in this issue that is just pure delight in execution and layout. This splash was used to show time elapse, and it still kept the story moving and the reader invested, and the next flip of the page reveals another two pages filled with twelve panels of pure action. The real heroes of this story are found within the shading, and colors of the book. Inks from Vines and colors from Oback just really brought the whole galactic feel to the background and other space related vessels and equipment.
There is no doubt that people are going to love this story. Audiences have shown that Star Wars is still a viable franchise from the excitement around the release of Episode VII last December. There are plenty of stories left to share and what better way to read them, but in comic form! Han Solo #3 is a great example of how Marvel can utilize great talent to produce books that look sharp and have great stories that add to each character’s personal mythos. The Han Solo series is a perfect way to keep fans invested and pacified between movies while also adding some additional stories to enrich their favorite characters.