The War of the Bounty Hunters is underway, and the stakes have been raised!
In the wake of the big reveal and exciting storytelling of War of the Bounty Hunters #1, Ethan Sacks’s Bounty Hunters #13 picks up on those threads and continues them, putting together another very enjoyable and strong entry into this massive crossover event!
Let’s dive in to our review.
Valance and Dengar are on Nar Shadda, in pursuit of Boba Fett, but they soon realize that Fett is long gone, having left only a dead bounty hunter in his wake. Dengar has a contact who has served as an arms dealer for the Hutts and thinks they can get information from him on why Jabba has placed a bounty on his favorite bounty hunter. But while Dengar insists on doing the talking with this contact, Devono Vix, Valance goes in fighting. He punches Devono and threatens him – which causes all of Devono’s men to turn on both Dengar and Valance (much to Dengar’s pleading that he’s not involved). The two bounty hunters fight off Devono’s forces and the contact takes off running…
… right into a familiar wookiee. Chewbacca and C-3PO are also on the planet following a lead on Han Solo and trying to maintain a low profile, but Valance accidentally runs right into Chewie, only then realizing who it is. Chewie, recognizing Valance as the man who supposedly tried to kill him and Han many years earlier, attacks Valance. But Chewie soon recognizes Dengar as well, remembering that Dengar had attacked him on that very planet years earlier, and attacks him too. Valance finally reasons with Chewie, convincing the wookiee that he never wanted to kill him nor Han. Chewie tells Valance (with 3PO translating) that if he really wants to save Han, he should trust Chewbacca to save him. Chewie says that the time might come when he’ll need him, but otherwise Valance better stay out of his way. At that, Chewie and 3PO leave.
After that, Valance and Dengar question Devono about why Jabba has placed a bounty on Boba Fett, and Devono reveals that it’s because Crimson Dawn has returned and is in possession of Han Solo. The bounty hunters don’t believe it… until Devono is suddenly killed and Crimson Dawn appears. Valance is wounded and the two bounty hunters are cornered as another Deathstick shows up.
Whiel all of this is happening, a side story is being told throughout the issue about Tonga and Losha, searching for Khamder on Dotharian. But they find that a tragedy has happened at the Fortress of the Mourner’s Wall and dead bodies are everywhere. When they finally find Khamder, alive, he warns them to leave – but then says it’s too late, as Crimson Dawn shows up.
Coming on the heels of the major reveal in the first issue of the War of the Bounty Hunters comic, this issue continues the intrigue and excitement of this crossover story. There are several things to talk about.
First, we see the continued unease and distrust between Valance and Dengar as they work “together” to hunt down Boba Fett and Han Solo. They don’t like it, but they need each other in order to accomplish their goal. But it’s also becoming clear that their goals aren’t even the same – Dengar wants the bounty, while it seems Valance wants to help Han. They don’t exactly work together that great, but when it comes to fighting side-by-side and getting results, it seems to work. But I’m sure it can’t keep working out forever, so we’re probably due for them to legitimately turn on each other. I’m enjoying seeing the dynamic between these two bounty hunters, forced to work together.
Second, Chewbacca and C-3PO show up, confirming that they also followed the lead on Boba Fett to Nar Shadda. It’s unclear why Luke isn’t with them, but I’m guessing we’ll get more answers as to what he’s up to in the next issue of the main Star Wars line. But Chewie is there, searching for his friend, and he encounters Valance and Dengar. This comic does a good job of setting up Chewie’s history with these two men in a very quick and simple fashion, yet one that tells the reader enough if they haven’t read the other stories being referenced. The encounter with Valance referenced actually was in the previous issue of this Bounty Hunters line, where we see a flashback to when Valance was contracted to kill Han but instead choose not to – but Han and Chewie interpreted his actions as hostile nonetheless. In this issue, though, Valance manages to convince Chewie of his intentions. With Dengar, the encounter is told in the previous main Star Wars line, the one set in-between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, when the Rebels had some adventures on this same planet, Nar Shadda. But this issue did a good job of giving readers enough information even if they didn’t know all that.
There’s also a tease here that Chewie may contact Valance for help at some point – but until that point would arise, Chewie orders Valance to stop hunting for Solo. I’m not sure whether we’ll see the wookiee actually contact Valance, but the fact that it’s mentioned here is a hint that it might. It would certainly be interesting to see what would possibly lead Chewie to do that.
Third, this issue further introduces the return of Crimson Dawn! They’re back! And that’s really what both of the stories told in this issue lead to, with the return of Crimson Dawn. But we learn quite a bit more about the context behind this. The other people in this story don’t believe that Crimson Dawn could have returned until they actually see it, since the criminal organization has supposedly not been heard from for quite a while. This issue just further reinforces the fact that Crimson Dawn was presumed extinct. But this issue also reveals that the leader of Crimson Dawn – whom we know is Qi’ra at this point – has been buying exotic weapons and preparing for this return to prominence and power for quite a while. They’re not just some fledgling organization trying to survive; they’re quite strong and powerful and ready to make some noise.
And fourth, it seems that Deathstick is working with Crimson Dawn too. She’s a Dathomirian assassin who was first introduced in the Star Wars: Uprising mobile game, and now she’s making an appearance here. It’ll be very interesting to see how the storytellers use her here. We know that she survives the events of this comic series (since Uprising is set after it), but we know very little about her. It’s a very cool connection to see her appear here, and it looks like she’s working with Crimson Dawn.
I really enjoyed this issue and thought that it furthered the reveals from War of the Bounty Hunters #1 really well. I’m loving this crossover event so far!