Or – “Subtitle Beach Blanket Bingo!”
Wait… Didn’t Boba Fett die, like, 30 years ago?
Previously, in Star Wars – Blood Ties: Jango Fett was the greatest bounty hunter of his time, as well as becoming the genetic template for the Clone Troopers who eventually formed the Empire’s feared Stormtrooper battalions. Jango was, thus, somewhat surprised to find that one of his target’s was one of those clones, but still had the decency to provide for Connor Freeman, son of his clone and a dead ringer for Jango’s clone son Boba Fett. Boba grew up to take his father’s place as Bounty Hunter Extraordinaire, and eventually helped Connor to set up his own cantina (mostly to keep his “brother” out of his hair.)
EATEN BY A SARLACC? HEY, AQUALUNG!!!
I’ll say this for Dark Horse: They don’t make you wait for things, as the first page is a full-page, fully-painted spread of a dead Boba Fett lying with enormous blaster holes in his face and chest. And not only has he been blown away, his demise has been broadcast across half the galaxy by the man behind the assassination attempt, allowing everyone to see the death of the legendary manhunter. Connor Freeman (whose name inexplicably makes me angry) sees his “brother’s” execution on the vid, and is seemingly the only person throughout Starwarsia who is saddened to see Boba with a hole in his head. My concern comes when I realized that this book is set BEFORE the events of the Battle Of Yavin (known to most as Star Wars, even if some people insist on calling it Episode IV), which means that Boba Fett’s death can’t be what it seems to be. From an artistic standpoint, it’s an ambitious issue, fully-painted to replicate the “reality” of the Star Wars movies, but the coloring and production combine to make the painted pages very dark and murky, especially scenes set in Freeman’s cantina.
IT’S A JETHRO TULL JOKE. YOU HAVE TO SING IT OUT LOUD.
There’s not a lot that I can say about the plot, for two reasons: First and foremost, the writers expectations are that you know who Boba Fett is, that you’ve presumably read the previous Blood Ties issues, and that you’re as interested in Connor as you would be in Monsieur Fett. (What? It’s a French name, right?) It’s a small complaint (and thebook certainly provides more context than some recently reviewed books), but one that bears mentioning. Secondly, it’s clear from the title of the book and the editor’s tongue-in-cheek notes that things are not what they seem here. The inter-relationship of Boba and Connor is being played with, and while there are some strong hints as to what’s really going on, but mostly things just leap (you should excuse the expression) full-force into action. The coloring issues continue as the book goes along, with each locale getting it’s own color palette, causing us to go from overly bright orange scenes to green and muddy scenes within the same page, but the art itself is actually quite interesting. Most importantly, Connor looks like a grown-up version of the kid who played Boba Fett in ‘Attack of The Clones’, which is impressive enough, and doubly so when you realize it’s a touch noticable to me, someone who is pretty much just a casual fan.
THE VERDICT: WHARRRGARRBLE
I find myself somewhat torn about this issue. It serves as a very successful lead-in to our story, and the art is unlike most of what I see in the other Star Wars comics. The story is familiar, but takes a smart path through the garden of “Is he or isn’t he?”, and the closing sequence is pretty breath-taking art-wise. All in all, my biggest complaints come with the coloring (something that is prevalent across the industry), the timeline (a problem which is mostly mine, and doesn’t really affect what’s going on with the story), and a nagging suspicion that this is all just a bait and switch, which is a badge of the writer’s success in pulling me into his world and it’s events. Star Wars: Blood Ties: Boba Fett Is Dead #1 is mostly successful, making the world of Long, Long Ago immediate and relatable (albeit somewhat detrimental to the health of the : key of my laptop) earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.