Boba Fett #? Salvage
Story: John Wagner
Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Coloring: Cary Porter
Lettering: Vickie Williams
Cover: Timothy Bradstreet
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/26/2006)
Responding to a distress signal, Boba Fett comes upon an derelict freighter which he decides to inspect. After confirming the crew dead, he claims salvage rights on the ship. But the cause of death of the crew reveals itself as a swarm of insects that secrete corrosive acid which can burn even through metal. The bounty hunter has to escape the ship alive while tring to salvage as much loot as possible.
This is the second of three #1/2 eclusives that have been offered through Wizard over the years. The first one was X-Wing #? earlier in 1997 and the third one was Episode I #? in 1999. It is not indicated when this story takes place, but it was included in the Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire trade paperback which might give a hint. Then again, it could take place anytime without affecting anything. John Wagner of course penned the first three Boba Fett one-shots that take place after Dark Empire. He's been criticized for giving Boba too much dialogue. Here he does speak, sometimes to his prisoners, sometimes to himself. A lot of the dialogue comes also from the Slave I's computer. Boba has two prisoners in his ship's brig: an Ubuugan named Chung, and another alien named Tsumo. Boba needs to bring one of them with him aboard the derelict ship Mingula in case of a trap. He takes the one who's wanted dead or alive, and that is the very reluctant Tsumo.
It's a good thing he does, because the ship is infested with Ubuugan fleshborers. They were probably brought aboard inside a casket, living inside the dead host who is identified as Volpau, third cousin of Emperor Palpatine. While poor Tsumo gets infested, Boba manages to close the hatch to his ship but not before some fleshborers get through. He disengages Slave I and himself escapes aboard a waste cannister. So Boba lost his salvage and a bounty, but by sheer coincidence the other bounty Chung is still alive because as an Ubuugan himself, he eats Ubuugan fleshborers. But all is not lost, Boba got Volpau's crown out of it, and it might bring him some money. A fun little story, with some suspense and action. Some elements of the plot are very similar to the movie Alien.
The artwork by Ezquerra has a slight European edge to it, a bit reminiscent of Moebius or Caza. The coloring is nothing exceptional but does the job. The highlight is the cover by Bradstreet, although I always feel like he's tracing over a photo from one of the movies. Nice cameo by his creation Taggor Bren and a cool 4-page sketchbook round out the issue.
A quick and dirty story with some creepiness factor.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended