The first one-shot issue from the War of the Bounty Hunters storyline features a very familiar Star Wars character: the crime lord Jabba the Hutt!
But it also introduces us to a brand new bounty hunter, one I’m very confident we’ll be seeing more of in the future. Let’s dive in to a review of the War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt one-shot, written by Justina Ireland!
On Tatooine, Jabba the Hutt inquires about his prize, and Bib Fortuna has no additional update besides that Boba Fett stopped at Nar Shadda. Jabba orders Deva Lompop to find Fett and Han Solo. So Fortuna contacts Lompop, who is somewhere in the Dalnan sector, and assures her that this mission will settle her debt with Hutt – something Deva seems to doubt.
We then flash back to a scene in Jabba’s Palace some time ago, with both Deva and Boba present with Jabba as he gives them a mission: eliminate Jarm Brock, who works for Bokku the Hutt and has infiltrated Mos Entha to disrupt Jabba’s operations. He has decided to send in Deva and Boba after others he sent have failed. Jabba tells Boba later that it’s not a question of whether he trusts Deva; it’s a matter of her debt, which is more about blood than money, and he knows she’ll do as he says.
They find Jarm, but realize it’s a trap. Boba also deduces that Jarm has turned Jabba’s people, and so he and Deva infiltrate the city, arriving in a Cantina – where Jarm and his men spring the trap and attack them. Deva throws a gas grenade as she and Boba escape out of the building, and then Boba takes off with his jetpack after Jarm and a few of his men, who are attempting to escape on a speeder. Boba kills the others and takes Jarm captive, despite Jarm’s desperate pleading not to be taken to Jabba, having heard horror stories about the sarlaac pit.
When Deva shows up, however, she turns on Boba and the two fight, with Deva knocking him out. Jarm, who has a history with her, explains that he’s not working for Bokku but rather for Crimson Dawn, who are planning big things. Deva then proceeds to eat him, bringing back only his head to Jabba. He tells her that her debt is not yet settled, which makes her furious, as she claims this is the fourth time he’s promised this would settle their debts only to renege on that.
Meanwhile, back in the present, Deva arrives on Nar Shadda and hears of a man wearing Mandalorian armor in the arena. Deva befriends Doc Ragon and gets him drunk, then contacts Crimson Dawn saying she has the prize. She then contacts Jabba and says that she located Fett, but that Han Solo is nowhere in sight. While they talk, a messenger arrives unannounced at Jabba’s Palace, inviting him to a party thrown by Crimson Dawn – leading Jabba to explore that option of getting Solo. Deva then speaks with someone from Crimson Dawn, saying that when she gets the chance, she will kill Jabba.
This is the first one-shot comic to be released in the War of the Bounty Hunters story, and though it’s titled as being about Jabba the Hutt, that’s probably only to make it a bit more attractive to people who might be considering checking it out. Because if we’re honest, it’s really about Deva Lompop.
This is her first appearance, but we were previously told that she would appear and that she belongs to an ancient species whom some believe to be the very first bounty hunters, and that she’s been working since the High Republic era. This issue in particular is made up of two storylines, one which happened many years earlier and one that’s happening at the time of the War of the Bounty Hunters story. It cuts back and forth between these two stories (in my summary above I streamlined the account a bit), and it shows us some of the history between Deva and Boba. This flashback story is apparently their first mission together, but we also get many references to the fact that her and Jabba go way back. Jabba apparently saved her life at some point and now holds it over her head, continually telling her that a job will pay off her debt only to backtrack on that. If I had to guess, I think we might see this event in question show up in the High Republic at some point. It seems far more than coincidence that Deva has been described as being active in that era, so I’m confident she’ll show up – and we might see the event that puts her in debt to Jabba.
This issue shows us that she’s not really loyal to him, though, and actually wants to kill him. She’s working with Crimson Dawn. It’s not clear if she’s formally aligned or anything with them (the implication is that she’s not), but she’s working with them. She hears about them from Jarm many years earlier, and it turns out that Deva is the one who contacts Crimson Dawn alerting them to Han Solo’s location.
So in many ways this issue is taking a few steps back and looking at some of the leadup to the War of the Bounty Hunters story, but I think it works. We learn how Jabba was invited to the Crimson Dawn auction, and we learn how Crimson Dawn came to acquire Han in the first place. And it seems to very clearly set up future stories to be told with Deva Lompop, which is cool. I thought she was an interesting character here, so I’d welcome more stories about her.