Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Lando Calrissian #1 Review

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Story by Greg Pak
Art by Matteo Buffagni
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettering by Travis Lanham
Cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson
Edited by Mark Paniccia

The Age of Rebellion series of one shots have been a delight to date, with Boba Fett (also by Greg Pak) and Han Solo being the two standout issues so far. With deliciously attractive covers from the Dodsons adorning these books it is almost tempting to scoop them up like trading cards. That would be a shame though as these books are really proving to be fun little adventures within everyone’s favourite galaxy. Let’s see how Lando’s outing was in this week’s instalment.

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Lando has had a pretty good amount of coverage in the new wave of Marvel Star Wars, with two mini series to date, Lando, and Lando: Double or Nothing in his older and younger guises respectively. This outing is pitched during his spell as the Baron Administrator of Bespin, and as such is pitched in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. An unlikely foil for Lando in that first Marvel mini series was Lobot, who proved to be a good straightman contrast to Lando’s flamboyant gambling persona. Pak utilizes this again cleverly in this issue, which sees Lando skipping between bills and invoices from all quarters in order to keep Bespin afloat (forgive the pun). The main plot rotates around an offer that Lobot suspects is, and which is subsequently confirmed as, too good to be true. The financial problems facing Lando provides useful context to why he may have been tempted to cut a deal with the Empire, but this issue also shows Lando’s more humanitarian streak (which as usual is buried beneath, and competes with, his mercenary instincts). For me Pak squeezes quite a lot into this one issue: he manages to get in and out and get the job done in a way that would make any smuggler proud.

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The art in this book is also a highlight. Matteo Buffagni’s depiction of Lando, his facial expressions, his regal stature and his witty gestures is spot on and really conveys the character we know and love. A special mention though must go to Tamra Bonvillain’s color work which really elevates the art to a higher level. There is a flat bold look to the colors on first glance which makes quite an impact upon casual glance at the page. Shading and palette are utilized to really deliver a sophisticated appearance to the issue once a more thorough study is carried out. Really top quality and underscores Bonvillain’s increasing versatility and range as a colorist.

Final Thoughts:

Like the best of the other installments of these one shot titles, this book continues to distill a quality standalone story, appealing art, and a beautifully presented and lettered book like a fine glass of well aged oak cask single malt whiskey (Irish of course). As much as I like long form story telling it is quite welcome to be reminded of the fact that the comic industry still has the ability to pack a punch for readers within the confines of a single issue.

8.9/10

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