In Review: Solo Adaptation #3

Dryden Vos, Lando Calrissian, L3-37, and the Millennium Falcon become part of the young smuggler's life.

The covers: A pair to place in your hands, if Lando isn’t cheating. The Regular cover is by Phil Noto and it’s a stunner. Duh, it’s by Noto. Why wouldn’t it be outstanding? Han is turning his back to get the reader’s take on the three cards he’s holding in this Sabacc match. Across the table is Lando Calrissian, only holding a pair of cards, but looking cockily at the reader. Some of the other alien players can be seen sitting around the table and in the background are even more, including a familiar Wookiee. Great image and cool coloring — this is how to create a dark setting with colors and allow all the line work to still be seen. The star of the Variant cover by Marco Checchetto is the Millennium Falcon. The iconic ship is sitting in a cave, with its cockpit coming at the reader in the upper left corner. From this perspective the ship is massive, making Han and Chewie, who are standing just below it, look incredibly tiny. They look too small, unfortunately. Plus this is a really dark cover. Yes, the ship is in a cave, but the colors could have been lightening considerably. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant C

The story: Robbie Thompson is the writer of this issue, based on the screenplay by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan. The first page is not found in the film and will be something for fans to pour over. It involves Qi’ra being sold by the White Worms to someone else, who sells her to Dryden Vos. It’s only one page, but it was neat to read and see. The second page has Han being reunited with Qi’ra, her discovery that he’s working with Beckett, and becoming entangled in the deal that Han makes with the gangster. The story follows the film extremely closely, with the dialogue involving Vos perfect. This issue also has Han’s first meeting with Lando Calrissian at the Sabacc table. The dialogue between this pair is classic. L3-37 is also introduced, taking a political stance. The book ends with the reveal of the franchise’s most famous ship. This issue moves the plot forward, furthers Han’s growth as a character, and introduces some new characters. But it’s that first page that made me, as a huge Star Wars fan, really happy. Overall grade: A

The art: Will Sliney has got some great visuals on this book, solidifying my opinion that this series is the best of Marvel’s adaptations. The opening page shows Qi’ra being sold and trained for her new life. Take note of the character speaking in the second panel and the male in the fifth panel for a nice bit of visual irony. I liked that the final panel on the page is in silhouette, showing this character’s soul to be darkening. The first panel on the second page introduces Han for this issue and the look of shock on his face is priceless. This look is repeated in the fourth panel, demonstrating that Han doesn’t have all the answers. Sliney really communicates how worried Beckett is about this meeting with Vos as shown on Page 5, with the gangster looking an absolute fright in the middle of the page. The shock that ends Page 6 is perfect. The point of view for the fourth panel on 7 is great foreshadowing for one of the climaxes of this series. The mirror imagery between Han and Dryden on 8 is awesome. Lando’s introduction on 10 is also good, with him laughing at the Sabacc table surrounded by all those aliens. He’s got a constant smile on his face that matches those made by Donald Glover. There’s a nice montage panel at the bottom of 12 that quickly shows a progression of time. I really like the serious faces made by the characters at the bottom of 16. Elthree also debuts in this issue, making a move on Clint Howard on 17. The line work on this page is not as defined as previous pages, and this carries over to the next page with the characters at the top being very loose and the pair at the bottom just not looking good. Thankfully a turn of the page which reveals the Falcon on a partial double-paged spread looks great. I don’t know what happened on those two pages, but the rest of the book looks solid. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Federico Blee, Stefani Renee, and Andres Mossa are the book’s colorists. I wish that the credits had stated who was responsible for what pages so that I could direct my praise or concerns to the correct individual. I like the transition of colors between the first and second panel on the opening page, adding to the physical change in Qi’ra’s life. The last panel uses a soft red to downplay the violence occurring and that’s completely appropriate for a Star Wars tale. The yellows and golds on Dyden Vos’s yacht are outstanding, matching the colors from the film, and having the reader assume he’s showing his wealth. The gangster’s facial scars are colored a great red, making him always look fierce. The exterior of where Lando is playing cards is given a great gray shade, creating cold, while inside everything is in tans, insinuating that this is not a place that wants bright lights. I like the blues when Elthree uses her saw — very realistic. The Falcon has some great coloring when it’s revealed, but the setting around it is a practically a blanket orange. This locale looks as though it was rushed for colors. Again, it’s only two pages, one panel, with the rest of the book looking fine. Overall grade: A-

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles is the creator of this issue’s scene settings, dialogue, sounds, Wookiee speech, and Elthree’s speech. The scene settings on this book are good because they do not have the white outline as they do on other Star Wars books; I wish the other titles followed this book’s lead. The dialogue, as all Star Wars titles, is really thin, robbing some characters of a strong voice, such as Lady Proxima on the opening page. The sounds are fun and Elthree’s speech is different looking for humanoids’ speech. I’ve not been liking the font used for Chewie’s speech, which is a wavering block letter. It looks odd. Overall grade: B

The final line: Dryden Vos, Lando Calrissian, L3-37, and the Millennium Falcon become part of the young smuggler’s life. The story faithfully follows the film, with the first page showing a new scene involving Qi’ra. The art and colors are good, though the letters do let down occasionally. Still, this adaptation is a thousand times better than the Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Rogue One adaptations. If this trend continues, I’ll definitely repurchase this adaptation when collected. Overall grade: A-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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