REVIEW: Achieve Valance with Bounty Hunters #12
In the third book in the Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters event, Bounty Hunters #12 by Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villanelli, Arif Prianto, and Travis Lanham, with a cover by Mattia De Iulis, we get a look at what’s happening with the other bounty hunters involved in the battle over Boba Fett – yet another new perspective on this unspooling conflict!
It’s a long way to Tatooine in this intriguing issue.
Who Is Valance?
One of the reasons that Marvel Comics has always liked to do these multi-month events, which tell a single story across several different titles, is because each event is an opportunity to introduce readers to new stories and characters… or sometimes, re-introduce!
As explained in the extremely helpful afterword by writer Sacks, Valance is a character who originally appeared in the Marvel Comics Star Wars series in 1978’s Star Wars #16: “The Greatest Space Fantasy of All” by Archie Goodwin, Walt Simonson, Bob Wiacek, Denise Wohl, and Bob Sharen.
Back then, at least according to writer Sacks, the character was more of a villain, “a cybrog motivated to kill droids by his own self-hatred,” and well, maybe the character was tired of living (and dying) with this terrible backstory.
So… Valance was brought back to life more recently in the panels of the ongoing Bounty Hunters series.
As a reader who was previously unfamiliar with the character, this book was an intriguing introduction. Despite Valance’s shoddy motivation to kill droids, I will soon be heading to the Marvel Unlimited App to read some of the original issues to feature this cyborg character for myself. Mission accomplished, Marvel Comics crossover!
But About Bounty Hunters #12
One of my favorite things about this issue, beyond the introduction of Valance, were the flashbacks to a previous encounter Valance had with Han Solo.
This flashback in Bounty Hunters #12 explains why he’s personally invested in the War of the Bounty Hunters: he feels like he owes Solo for the events of the past! It’s an interesting angle, and somewhat distinct from Luke Skywalker’s more noble motivations.
Plus, it was neat to see all the returning bounty hunters from the larger Star Wars universe, like 4-Lom, Dengar, and Zuckuss.
The War of the Bounty Hunters
Next week, The War of the Bounty Hunters continues with two issues: Darth Vader #12 and Doctor Aphra #10. Considering rogue archeologist Aphra is one of the best characters to ever be introduced in the Star Wars comics, this issue is one I’ve been looking forward to. Plus, it guest stars Sana Starros! Is it next Wednesday yet?