In Review: Star Wars: Age of Republic-Jango Fett #1

This is justification for a miniseries.

The covers: Six covers to place a bounty on if you need to have them all. The Regular cover is by Paolo Rivera and has the villain using his jet pack. His entire figure can be seen as he looks to his right and fires a shot from a pistol in that direction. Behind him is a desert wasteland full of oddly structured rocks. This could be Geonosis. The cover is set off by two diagonal stripes of black that set off the desert scene. Very nice. The Concept Design Variant is a Doug Chiang sketch put on a white cover cover that becomes a light blue grid at the bottom. This is neat to see, because Jango looks pretty much how he did in the film, except he’s snow white. Very cool. The Inhyuk Lee Variant has the reader looking up close at the title character who’s standing on a rocky cliff. The bounty hunter has a pistol in his hand. Behind him is a fantasy-like city and a giant moon in the sky. I like the point of view, but Jango looks really bulky from this position. The Leinil Francis Yu and Jesus Aburtov Variant has a four of the biggest antagonists from the prequels. Against the backdrop of Coruscant at night, a gigantic bust of Count Dooku looks at the reader with venom. Before him is General Grievous crouched with a lightsaber in each of his four hands. To this character’s left is Jango Fett who’s ready for some fisticuffs. Before all of them, is Darth Maul with his double bladed lightsaber ignited. Nice. The Mike McKone and Guru-eFX Variant is in the same format as their previous variants. A full figured Jango has both pistols up and he looks ready for action. Behind him is a star field. To the upper left and center are Old Republic Cruisers. On the left center are Naboo fighters flying up. From the bottom left and moving up and to the right are several ships that I can’t identify. This looks great. The Photo Variant has Jango from the waist up looking at the reader. He has his pistol raised in his right hand. The character has been inserted atop a blue star field. Very nice. I love photocovers and this is one I would look for. Overall grades: Regular A, Concept Design Variant A+, Lee Variant C+, Yu Variant A-, McKone Variant A, and Photo Variant A+

The story: On Telerath, three bounty hunters, Neelda (a Rodian), Tiver (a Chada-Fan), and Rinn (a Gand), are in a bar discussing how they’ve been hired to hunt down a runaway. They wonder why their fourth member, Jango Fett, took the job. Fett shows up with Boba in tow. Jango took this job so that Boba could train to become a bounty hunter. The younger Fett doesn’t know this crew and complains, but his father says, “The unknown factor…That’s the real lesson here.” This is fantastic idea for a story, or miniseries Marvel (hint, hint…), and writer Jody Houser makes it great. There’s a quick two page flashback to how Jango came into a large sum of credits, featuring an infamous Sith making him an offer for his DNA. Back in the present, the action goes to Ord Mantell where the crew finds their prey and things go wrong in several different ways. This story has some terrific tension with several surprises. Though the issue’s title proclaims it’s a Jango tale, it’s Boba who steals the story in the final pages. Both Fetts are written superbly and this has me wanting to see more with this family as written by Houser. Overall grade: A+

The art: Luke Ross has become one of my favorite Star Wars artists. He continues to be so with his work on this book. The three bounty hunters look great. Had the issue just featured this trio I would have been happy. The large panel on the first page shows them enjoying some libations and they look so cool. The next page shows Jango in action, working a job. I like that he’s not shown on the page, only what he does. When he does appear it’s in a full-paged splash on Page 3, flying in air and delivering a kill shot to his prey — Now that’s how to enter a book! I also like that when the appears before his three partners on Page 4 it’s from a distance, with him looking like a cowboy with no name walking into a bar. Boba’s first appearance has him looking positively angelic at the top of 5 with big eyes. It’s only on 6 does Boba’s famous furled brow reveal itself, showing he’s not a pleasant person. The top of Page 8 had me giddy for how this individual is drawn and I loved this character’s dramatic gesture in the third panel on the same page. Excellent! 11 is a great page for the action, not to mention the shock of what is done in the fourth panel. The small panels that end the page are outstanding, with the last one being so telling. I love the ferocity of the character in the final panel on 12 and the first on 13 — surprising and believable. The final panel on 15 is outstanding for the drama it creates. I’m glad the character’s face isn’t clearly seen, as it implies a darkness has fallen over this person. This darkness continues onto 16. Notice how in the second to last panel, someone is watching all that transpires from a distance. I love the third panel on 19, showing the character fascinated by what is being held. The last two panels on that page are flawless, with the emotions being absolutely clear to the reader. When Houser writes the miniseries, Ross has got to draw it! Overall grade: A+

The colors: I would also want to see Java Tartaglia on the miniseries that I’m proposing. The oranges in the cantina that open the book give it an aged and sleazy tone, which is absolutely perfect for bounty hunters. I like that pink that was chosen for the sky on Jango’s job; it’s not a color one associates with Star Wars for a sky, but it provides a false comfort for the characters and reader before the title character arrives. The coloring on Jango and Boba’s flesh is outstanding; notice how there’s always a darkness around their eyes, constantly giving the reader a visual clue that this pair is not to be trusted. Pinks return and are joined by oranges on the two page flashback. These colors make the Sith look like the embodiment of evil on the page with his ebonies. Jango’s grays make him pop against the pinks. The light blues on Ord Mantell are a calming color that allow the screams and jet pack to explode with their bright colors. When things take a turn on Page 12, the colors go gray and tan, suggesting that there is no good or bad, only shades of gray. Very appropriate when dealing with bounty hunters. Gun shots become blinding reds and the Rodian’s skin an eye catcher with its dark greens. Excellent work from Tartaglia. Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Travis Lanham creates this issue’s scene settings, dialogue, sounds, yells, and the one word conclusion. I love the scene settings and wish that all Star Wars comics employed this style. The sounds are big, which is what one wants to see when bounty hunters are involved, and the yells are obviously meant to be heard as loud due to their being larger than the dialogue. I like what Lanham has done. Overall grade: A

The final line: This is justification for a miniseries. I love the adventures of Jango and Boba by this team of creators and would pay big bucks for a spin-off series. The story has the characters true to their film counterparts, the new characters are enjoyable, there are several surprises, and the ending is sensational. The visuals are excellent with the characters looking like those from the films, the alien worlds keen, and the colors manipulating the reader wonderfully. Sorry, Marvel, you can’t just have this be one issue. There must be more. Please! 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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