The Bounty Hunters: Scoundrel's Wages
Story: Mark Scultz
Art: Mel Rubi
Inking: Andrew Pepoy
Cover: Marc Gabbana
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/12/1999)
Not to give away the cover or anything, but this is a Lando Calrissian story. Lando volunteers on a diplomatic mission to the Blimph system. He meets with the resident crime lord on the third moon of Blimph, a Hutt named Quaffug who is an old acquaintance of Lando's and happens to want revenge for what he lost at Sabacc 12 years ago. Lando is sentenced to the duff-jikab, or cutthroat run, where he is given some lead time before four of Quaffug's bounty hunters armed to the teeth go after him. Thanks to a volcanic earthquake, Lando beats the four hunters (which include Bossk, Dengar, 4-LOM and Guchluk) to the forbidden territory of the native Jokhalli. Lando does what he does best and wins some favors among the Jokhalli who help him overthrow Quaffug. The native people are a lot more willing to negociate with the Alliance.
What can I say about the story? It is just very entertaining, and incorporates elements of the larger continuity while being self-contained. It takes place after the events of Shadows of the Empire (although 4-LOM was busted up pretty bad in that one) and explains how Lando got to become a guard at Jabba's Palace.
The only continuity problem I saw was the reference to Lando gambling in the Rafa system 12 years ago; if it refers to the events in the book Lando Calrissian Adventures then it should be more like 8 years. But it can easily refer to a previous visit to Rafa. I like the fact that a new secondary character, the Predator-like Guchluk, is not introduced just to become Bantha-fodder. Lando is very much in-character, and in fact this story reminds me of the old post-The Empire Strikes Back Marvel run. Very fun and light-hearted, without being silly.
The exagerated expressions and the sometimes cartoony faces would be more suited to superhero comics, but for some reason it work real well in this story. The way to describe Mel Rubi's pencils here is represented in the way he draws the Falcon: simplified but includes all the right features. Personally, I love the way Bossk makes all those faces.
Very fun story and art. Great cover.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Recommended