Han Solo—Captain of the Millennium Falcon.
He is one of the most revered characters in the Star Wars universe, so it is no surprise that Han would be given his own solo comic series. What is surprising is that this Han Solo series was released after titles like Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Lando. Running five issues long, Han Solo takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
After helping to blow up the Death Star, Han has returned to his smuggling ways. But when Princess Leia asks for his help to uncover a Rebel spy turned traitor, it brings Han into an intergalactic race. The Millennium Falcon is front and centre in the Dragon Void, a high speed and high stakes race, reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s hot-rodding days in George Lucas’s American Graffiti. During the race, Han must not only uncover the traitor but also stay alive. The Dragon Void is notorious for danger and possible death.
So, does the Han Solo comic series hold a candle to the iconic character?
Han Solo sputters out of the gate, much like the Falcon when trying to jump into light speed during The Empire Strikes Back. It is a side adventure with Han Solo—this should be enough to garner interest, but it’s not. What’s missing is what’s missing with the other stand-alone limited series like Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Lando. It lacks chemistry—a chemistry only found when the original Star Wars crew are together. One of the most important reasons the Original Trilogy worked so well is the chemistry between the main cast. The chemistry is handed over to the extended universe in comics and novels. When solo missions ensue, characters on their own can be diminished. Sure, Princess Leia has a small cameo in the early going and Han is always flanked by Chewie, but the story must take time introducing other characters, other race combatants, and it’s not overly interesting.
However, by the time readers reach the last two issues, a change occurs. The action and storyline pick up and Han is in fine form. Writer Marjorie Liu does a good job here not only heightening the tension but also getting more in depth into the heart of Han Solo. One of his most lovable characteristics from the films is that Han cares. He’s a classic bad boy—one who appears like he cares for nothing but himself, yet can’t help but get involved when the right thing needs to be done.
Artist Mark Brooks’ illustrations are at their best during Dragon Void race. Cruising ships jockeying for position and the occasional need to outrun Imperial Tie Fighters bring needed tension to the story. The space visuals are quite well done and are easily the most exciting part of the Han Solo series.
All in all, Han Solo is a worthwhile read for any Star Wars enthusiast. It will likely be a single read through though. There isn’t enough to go back to and revisit. The new characters are interesting but with no real standouts.
However, there is enough in the story’s conclusion to give it a try.