Tag & Bink II #1 The Return of Tag & Bink Special Edition
Story: Kevin Rubio
Art: Lucas Marangon
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Lucas Marangon, Dan Jackson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/14/2007)
Tag and Bink are on Tatooine with Lando to meet with a Rebel spy named Manuel "Manny" Both-Hanz, and at the same time try to rescue Han Solo from Boba Fett's ship the Slave I. But Han is not aboard the ship, so the three infiltrate Jabba's palace disguised as Boba Fett and two guards to free Solo. Their plans change when Princess Leia is captured, and again when Luke falls into the rancor pit. Luckily, Luke survives and is taken to the Pit of Carkoon along with Solo to be thrown into the sarlacc. Things go wrong again when Tag, diguised as Boba, and Bink get thrown in the sarlacc and the sail barge explodes. But they are rescued by a female soldier named Kannen Doom who puts them in touch with Manny, who has plans to the Empire's second Death Star. The real Boba Fett attacks, and Kannen hold him off while the pair escape aboard an Imperial shuttle, but Manny doesn't survive a blast he received from the bounty hunter. Tag and Bink inform Supreme Commander Mon Mothma, and she orders them to bring Manny's body to Imperial command. When they arrive on the Death Star II, they both get assigned as two of the Emperor's personal guards. They are in the throne room when Lord Vader brings in Luke as a prisoner, father and son duel it out, the Emperor's is killed and the Death Star explodes. The two friends don't make it out in time, but they witness the Rebel victory on Endor alongside other deceased Jedi Knights.
The first part of the story has some dialogue repeated from "The Revenge of Tag & Bink" (Star Wars Tales #12) but a different outcome. This is Rubio's real vision of a sequel to Tag & Bink Are Dead, an alternate more complete version than the short Tales story, thus the "Special Edition" title (and the fact that it is not included in the collected edition Tag & Bink Were Here). Instead of Tag and Bink settling the score verbally with Boba Fett after getting out of the sarlacc, now they capture him after he lands on Tatooine with Lando's help. Tag takes Fett's armor while Bink dresses up as Taym Dren-garen to infiltrate Jabba's Palace. Once again they get tangled up in events from the movie when Luke starts a fight aboard a skiff over the Pit of Carkoon. Tag is the one who goes over in the sarlacc when his jetpack is hit by a blind Han Solo. And Bink is the one who shoots Luke in the hand (he was aiming for his lightsaber).
As usual, things don't go so well for the pair but fortunately, they are "saved" from the sarlacc by another character returning from a previous Rubio story, Kannen Doom (from "Fett Club" in Star Wars Tales #24). She appears in the first few pages in the Mos Eisley cantina where Lando was using his Battle of Tanaab pick up line on her, but then she is revealed as a fully armed and armored bounty hunter. Good thing she works for the Rebellion. She puts the two guys in touch with their contact Manuel "Manny" Both-Hanz who gives them information about a second Death Star being built and the Emperor will be visiting it. That's when Boba Fett (without his armor; Tag is wearing it remember?) wakes up and shoots at them. They manage to escape aboard the shuttle, but unfortunately Manny Both-Hanz died so they could bring the information to the Alliance (get it? this is probably my favorite joke in this issue). They do so by informing Mon Mothma over the HoloNet, and for some reason she tells them to bring Both-Hanz's body aboard the second Death Star.
Once again (this is becoming a theme in these comics) Tag and Bink digsuise themselves to go undercover, this time as Imperial Royal Guards. They are the ones who were sent away by the Emperor when Vader brought Luke to the throne room. But they couldn't actually "Get away", so they just sit behind the turbolift and wait out the end of the battle. They don't really know what's going on and they actually are aboard the Death Star when it explodes... So now, Tag & Bink are REALLY Dead. There are some references to them knowing lightsaber techniques and having learned lessons in the Temple, which will be explained in the upcoming prequel issue. One could argue about the fact that they appear as ghosts at the end, alongside Anakin (both versions), Yoda and Obi-Wan, but at this point you should know that this is not part of the continuity. Now that Rubio did his homage to the classic trilogy in three issues, next he'll tackle the prequel trilogy in just one issue!
I love Marangon's new take on Kannen Doom. She looks very menacing in her armor, almost as much as Boba. Manny however looks like a regular short dude. Of course, we see the obligatory visual gags: Bob's Big Boy is having a drink at the cantina; a spinner from Blade Runner is seen outside the shuttle's cockpit; and there are a couple of Cylons guarding the Emperor (the classic ones, not the Human ones from the new show). As usual, Marangon's style fits perfectly with Rubio's script, both complementing each other's humor. I like the fact that they "redid" the sequel, because the short story "The Revenge of Tag & Bink" from Tales #12 did not work as well since it wasn't drawn by Marangon. Now we can see his own take on the Boba Fett docking bay scene. The one great visual joke I think is the look on both Anakin's faces when they both show up as ghosts (the Sebastian Shaw one from the theatrical version and the Hayden Christensen one from the DVD version).
Really funny sequel to Tag & Bink Are Dead. Too bad they die for real this time...
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended.