In Review: Solo Adaptation #6

The penultimate chapter of this adaptation has all the characters putting their cards on the table.

The cover: There’s only one cover for this issue, which is surprising as Star Wars books usually have at least two. But don’t fear, my scoundrels, this frontpiece by Phil Noto is a winner. Han has his arm around wounded Lando as they stare forward. Below them is the Millennium Falcon in wrecked condition. That’s not enough to make Lando upset, but having it blocked by Enfys Nest and her gang worsens their situation. Gorgeous cover with the expressions on the leads’ faces priceless. Overall grade: A+

The story: On Savareen, Enfys Nest and her warriors stand before Tobias Beckett and Han Solo. The young pilot interrupts Beckett’s dialogue with the pirate to tell her that thirty hired guns are aboard the Falcon and he just has to snap his fingers and they’re surrounded. That’s when Lando starts the engines and flies off in the ship, leaving Han with egg on his face. Thankfully, Qi’ra intervenes, “Perhaps there’s a compromise. One that doesn’t involve so much killing.” This prompts Enfys to take off her helmet, revealing her to be a very young woman. She says, “I need a drink.” It’s here that writer Robbie Thompson interjects something new into the story that wasn’t shown in the film: the mercenaries attacking Enfys’s people. It’s a quick moment, but one that is neat finally to see. After this, the plot follows that of the film. Beckett leaves Han since he doesn’t agree with what he and Qi’ra want to do to get out from under the thumb of Dryden Vos and the Crimson Sun. The bulk of the book takes place on the crime lord’s yacht with Vos having some excellent lines and actions, and another character revealing how horrible he is. I loved the movie Solo and am loving this adaptation by Thompson. In fact, I would love to see Thompson continue writing more adventures of Han Solo, his handle on the hero and the cast is so good. Overall grade: A

The art: Will Sliney shows that Han and Beckett are in trouble with the first panel of the book showing Enfys and her crew starting down the pair. Notice how Sliney shows in the same panel that Han is ready to rumble by including in the foreground his hand ready next to his holster. Beckett’s a cool cucumber on the page, with his chin up and his lips pursed at Han’s interruption. Han’s reaction to the Falcon’s flying off is funny. The reveal of Enfys Nest’s face at the bottom of Page 2 is good and resembles actress Erin Kellyman. Though only three panels, it is neat to see the mercenaries’ actions. The first two panels on Page 4 are good compliments to the text, with Sliney increasing the tone of the dialogue with a change in imagery. Pages 5 and 6 have the point of view nicely move about as two characters have a conversation. I like how the scene ends as it begins, but with the characters apart. Dryden Vos’s eyes have the same intense stare that actor Paul Bettany had in the film. The scene aboard Vos’s yacht begins as a long dialogue in a fairly close quarters, which is not an artist’s dream to illustrate, I’m sure, but Sliney moves around the characters well, using close-ups and gestures to provide some clear tension. When things go south for the heroes, Sliney tilts a panel forty-five degrees at the end of Page 10 — a very cool way to show how everything one knows is about to become askew. Han’s reaction to his reveal on 11 in the third panel is good and I love Vos in the background in the fourth panel, just watching what’s occurring. The emotion in the fourth panel on 13 is excellent and the reveal in the panel that follows increases it immensely. I love the character in the final panel on 14. The close-up on faces on 15 is outstanding; also keeping backgrounds out of these panels increases the tension on each face. Action is very fluid on 17 with a series of panels showing characters running and leaping. The first panel on 19 has the character on the right sporting a marvelously evil smile. Mr. Sliney needs to be drawing Star Wars comics forever. Overall grade: A

The colors: The planet Savareen is full of tans, as are its inhabitants and structures, so colorists Andres Mossa and Stefani Rennee give it a beautiful blue sky and equally lovely waters when the ocean is shown to mix things up. Scene settings and sounds are given bold colors at this locale to make them pop against the light browns. Dryden’s quarters on his ship are very tan and bronze, giving the location a 1920’s metropolitan flavor. This allows the gangster’s scars to really stick out with their red gashes and his steely blue eyes to draw focus. The colors get much darker with the reveal on 11, adding to the gloomy tone this character’s change has created. Golds, yellows, and browns dominate the final pages as the setting had these colors in the film as well. Vos’s crimson blades stand out whenever they appear, reminding the reader of how deadly they are. Overall grade: A

The letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna creates scene settings, dialogue, and sounds. The scene settings are solid and the sounds are terrific, created in big, bold letters that make each noise memorable. The dialogue continues to be too thin, robbing any character with stress in their voice of energy. Check out Star Wars: Age of Rebellion — Princess Leia #1 for how dialogue should be done in a Star Wars comic. Overall grade: A-

The final line: The penultimate chapter of this adaptation has all the characters putting their cards on the table. There’s one quick scene of a past moment mentioned in the film that’s finally seen and it’s fun. The tension is good throughout and the visuals continually have me standing and applauding them. I will definitely repurchase this when it’s 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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