Friday, March 4, 2011

17. Fool's Bounty

"Fool's Bounty" is the fifth Dark Horse collection of Marvel comics, this one collecting issues 68 through 81 as well as the third annual. These are some of the most interesting Marvel Star Wars stories that I've read so far. Not only are the stories better, but the art work has improved as well.

What's especially interesting is that they build off the characters in the movies more, adding to the back story of what was seen on screen. The first story is an excellent example of this. We're introduced to Fenn Shysa, a fighter dressed in armor that's remarkably similar to Boba Fett. Shysa explains that he and Fett were part of a group of commandos for the planet Mandalore that fought on the side of the Empire during the Clone Wars. When the war was over, only three of the commandos had survived, and when they return to Mandalore they found their planet had been overrun by slavers. Fett left to become a bounty hunter. Shysa and the other Mandalorian commando, Tobbi Dala, stayed on Mandalore to try to overthrow the Imperially backed slavers. While this is a very interesting back story, unfortunately I don't think it maintains continuity with later stories about Boba Fett's origins.

Regardless, Leia and C-3PO team up with Shysa while looking for the bounty hunter Dengar, who supposedly knows the location of Han Solo. Issues 68 and 69 tell the story of their encounter with Dengar, and their struggle to free the slaves of Mandalore.

Issue 70 has a flashback story featuring Han Solo, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca visiting the planet Stenos. They have gone their to try to find some missing rebel leaders, but instead stumble upon some people from Han Solo's past. They're looking for the same item the missing rebel leaders were looking for, a ceremonial statue that if found would be of great value to the natives of Stenos, and could be used to persuade them to join the rebellion. But upon finding the statue, the rebel heroes are double crossed by Han's old acquaintances, who have secretly been working with the Empire. However, the Stenax, the natives of Stenos, are aware the statue has been found so they attack the Imperials in an effort to get it back. Han tells them that his old friend has the statue, so the Stenax pursue him instead, allowing the rebel heroes to escape.

Issue 71 follows up on this flashback story, with Lando, Luke, and Chewbacca returning to Stenos looking for Bossk and IG-88 with the hope that they know where Boba Fett took Han Solo. Luke and Lando run into Han's old friends again, who have remained behind on Stenos. Lando finds someone frozen in carbonite, and thinking it's Han, they pursue, only to find out it's one of Han's old friends, Chihdo. Even worse, they've stumbled into a trap set by Bossk and IG-88.

With the help of Chihdo's associates, Dani and Rik, Luke is able to escape in issue 72, but Lando and Dani remain captive. Bossk and IG-88 intend to freeze them, but Chewbacca has aligned with the Stenax and they arrive to rescue Lando and Dani. As they take off, it's revealed that Dani has snuck aboard the Millenium Falcon and will be with them for a while, much to everyone's annoyance.

In issue 73 a lengthy story arc is begun that involves the search for two rebel pilots that have obtained some secrets from the Empire, but then went missing before they could deliver those secrets to the Empire. Luke, Lando, Leia, and Dani have traveled to the planet Lahsbane in their search, but so has the Empire. The diminutive natives of Lahsbane are somewhat helpful, indicating that the pilot went to their forbidden city. Leia and Dani have an argument, with each trying to prove their worth by going to the forbidden city. They find it abandoned of life, but full of treasure. However, they soon realize why it's forbidden. It seems that when the diminutive Lahsbanes mature, they become monstrous Huhk, who occupy the forbidden city. Luckily C-3PO informs Luke, Chewbacca, and Lando where Leia and Dani have gone, and they are able to rescue them. However Dani leaves with the treasure in the Imperial ship, while the rest of the rebel heroes leave in the Millenium Falcon.

I'll need to repost this later with the rest of the stories. This is all I can write right now.

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