The Bounty Hunters: Kenix Kil
Story: Randy Stradley
Art: Javier Saltares
Inking Christopher Ivy
Cover: Doug Wheatley, Dave McCaig
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/14/1999)
After the events in Crimson Empire, former Imperial Guardsman Kir Kanos is on the run from both the Empire and the New Republic. He stops on Baramorra for supplies and while there learns that a relative of Imperial Admiral Banjeer is the local crime boss. Kanos takes some steps to infiltrate traitor Boss Banjeer's bounty hunter organization. He buys himself some weapons and armor and becomes the bounty hunter Kenix Kil. When Boss Banjeer shows interest in his work, "Kil" reveals that he's after the fugitive Kir Kanos and knows where he's hiding. Banjeer glady sends his bounty hunters along for the search. "Kil" leads them to a secluded area and slaughters them all. He then goes after Banjeer. Later, Kanos leaves the planet and plans to go work for Grappa the Hutt in order to get a shot at Admiral Banjeer.
This is a nice lead-in to Crimson Empire II, but not much more. The story doesn't add much to Kir Kanos development nor does it explain his motivations (he's still after Imperial traitors which he himself is.) After the first two Bounty Hunters one-shots, this one is a disappointment. In fact, the story parallels the one in "Scoundrel's Wages" in some aspects. Both stories have the main character land on a remote planet and overthrow the local crime boss. And both stories offer an explanation on how the same character infiltrated a criminal organization to attain his goal. But "Scoundrel's Wages" did a much better job of it with a character I cared for.
While I've enjoyed Stradley's work in the past, especially his Aliens/Predator stories, this one leaves me bland.
Again like "Scoundrel's Wages" the art is kind of superhero-ish (and artist Saltares previously worked on Dark Horse's X series) but this time it doesn't fit with Star Wars. While the backgrounds and scenery are nice, the characters are blockish and unrealistic. Even the familiar ones, the stormtroopers and a guy named Jahnar-Kooda (who is supposed to look like Bar-Koonda) are not even close to what we're used to. The cover is very cool, but don't judge a book by its cover.
Read it if you liked Crimson Empire I and II. If not, buy it for the cover.
Rating: 4 / 10 Not Recommended