In the last installment of Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters, we were treated to a major surprise return. The Crimson Dawn is still thriving and Qi’ra is running the show. This comes into play in “The Scoundrel’s Ball” as Qi’ra lures every notable crime syndicate to join her aboard The Vermillion for a bidding war over a coveted bounty.
Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters (Issue #2)
The party guests serve to add context to the Crimson Dawn’s surprise return as they gossip about the organization’s alleged defeat and express surprise that they’re being led by a human. We also learn that not only are the Hutts present, and desperate to stake their claim, but the Pykes, Black Sun, the Rang Clan, and the Empire have all been invited to this illustrious event.
Boba Fett’s arrival is a blast, particularly his encounter with Bossk, and it’s fun to see how effortlessly Charles Soule’s dialogue is able to make me hear Temuera Morrison’s voice. There’s a moment where he starts to say, “Oh come on.” and I could vividly hear that gruff accented voice.
Also in attendance is Dr. Aphra, as her story convergences with the main plotline. The astute historian quickly recognizes Boba Fett as a clone, but he quickly shoots down that notion for obvious reasons. He convinces Aphra to act as a diversion for him and he goes to dress in his armor once more. While he lurks at the fringes of the party, he runs into Leia, Chewie, and Lando Calrissian as their story converges with War of the Bounty Hunters. But they are far from the most exciting arrival.
Qi’ra has a real chip on her shoulder where Han Solo is involved. You would never believe that they were romantically involved, considering how gleeful she seems to see him dead at the hands of his new owner. The bidding increases, mounting higher and higher before the Hutts claim their victory at one million credits. A price higher than what they were paying Boba Fett to retrieve the bounty.
As the bidding closes out, and the rest of the syndicates are sorely outbid by the Hutts, you can practically hear the “Imperial March” echoing from the pages of this comic as Darth Vader arrives to lay claim to Captain Han Solo.
The second full issue of Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters is an exciting issue that continues to build the excitement and suspense for what this comic run could possibly deliver to fans. Charles Soule has created engaging dialogue and convincingly interweaved the characters of the interconnecting comic series. Luke Ross’ illustration paired with Neeraj Menon’s coloring makes for a gorgeous and immersive world. I am obsessed with the dress that Qi’ra wore in this issue and I hope we see more of her fashion sense in future issues.
Initially, I was of the mind that this comic run was unnecessary — we already thought we knew what happened between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — but I am willing to admit that I was wrong. This added storyline only strengthens what we already knew about this era and makes for some spectacularly fun storytelling. I look forward to learning more about the Crimson Dawn and what Qi’ra has been up to since Solo. I need to know why she is so angry at Han Solo, seeing as her final beat in the film was more remorseful. It feels like she must have something bigger planned than just auctioning off a carbonited Han Solo.