Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Star Wars: Boba Fett - Man with a Mission

(2007) various, Titan Books, 9.99, trdpbk, 102pp, ISBN 1-845-7-6464-1

The Sar Wars' trilogy's infamous masked mercenary is a man of few words, but plenty of action - which is how most fans want him. Small though his contribution to Star Wars' history has been, his skulking presence in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi has been enough for fans to demand to see more of this mysterious figure, recreating some of his action-packed adventures in the process. "Man with a Mission" is a collection of one-shots and odd standalone issues of Star Wars: Empire, with the masked Mandalorian a common feature throughout. The selection is novel to say the least: it was a surprise to see Judge Dredd creator John Wagner listed among the writers! His story, "Sacrifice", retains his dark, apocalyptic vision with a sliver of black humour, helped in no small part by the presence of 2000AD regulars Cam Kennedy and Chris Blythe. They also lend their talents to "Agent of Doom", another rather dark tale in which Fett redeems himself after near-death in Return of the Jedi. "Overkill" is the odd story in this collection, and perhaps more than welcome with its light tone. The humour is reflected in the artwork from Francisco Ruiz Velasco which maintains a cartoon style throughout, although still visually impressive. The final addition to the collection is the bittersweet "Wreckage". The final twist is a nicely subtle affair contrasting with Star Wars' usual epic scale, and though Boba Fett comes out on top in the end, the story still leaves an uncomfortable aftertaste. However, it's a shame that although the majority of the story contains no dialogue, the ending relies so heavily on it.

All in all, a mixed bag of stories - not necessarily in quality, but the style of the stories makes a strange selection. Not that that's bad - indeed, all this happens while Boba Fett flies through action-packed pages, blasting bad guys and keeping his cool. You won't find much character to develop here as Fett never had any - but perhaps it's better to stick to the action, the frenetic pace, the bad-ass attitude and the grittiness, the better to reflect the world of a cut-throat alien bounty hunter

Peter Thorley

See also on this site Inside the Worlds of Star Wars, Star Wars: Empire vol. 4 and Star Wars: Visionaries.

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