The finale in the saga of betrayal, revenge, and lots of destruction. GONK reviews the last issue of Boba Fett Is Dead by Tom Taylor and Chris Scalf.
Tom Taylor has a double-header of Star Wars comics this week: the fourth and final issue of Blood Ties: Boba Fett Is Dead (Profile on Dark Horse.com). I do spoil the story a bit, but hopefully you’ve figured it out: Boba Fett isn’t dead, and isn’t going to be for a while.
When we left off: Boba Fett is assumed dead, and those who hired the hit are also gunning for anyone he knows – including his family. Fett rescued his half-brother Connor Freeman from a bomb and has deposited him with Fett’s ex-wife, Sintas Vel, and daughter, Ailyn, on Concord Dawn. Those three have withstood an initial attack by some Devaronians, and have gone to a safe house — but their movements are part of a larger plan by the villains. Meanwhile, after a close brush with Darth Vader, Fett has found the Imperial captain who helped organize the hit on him, and found out the name of those who ordered Fett’s death: the vengeful governor of Concord Dawn, and his spymaster Teychanne. And Sintas kisses Connor.
In the finale: Connor gets caught up on Sintas’ history with Fett, and the safe house comes under attack by Governor Purton’s forces. Fett shows up in Slave I. Lots of death. Purton’s motives are revealed. And in the end, the smart money is on the side of the Fett clan. But will there be an awkward reunion? Ailyn knows what kissing leads to – space worms!
For a story that is mostly about vengeance and action and a man who doesn’t talk all that much, there is a fair amount of relationship-building. We get a peek under the armor of the family of Boba Fett by learning more about the lives of Sintas and Ailyn. Despite the kisses, Sintas gives Connor the boot, because he reminds her too much of her ex-husband. And their embrace is witnessed by Fett, who apparently hasn’t quite gotten over his ex, but isn’t too worked up about it either. Meanwhile, we catch the strange innocence of the young Ailyn – in the previous issue, she downs their attacker’s vehicle with an ion cannon and tells Connor a bedtime story about monsters, and in this issue, she wakes up in her jammies and concludes that her mom and Connor were kissing. She reminds me a bit like a young River Tam. Writer Tom Taylor balances the awkwardness and tenderness in the Vel household with Purton’s blinding drive for revenge and lots of explosions. We see Purton, previously fairly composed, start to unravel as his vendetta draws to a close, and he breaks with the more rational Teychanne, who sneaks up on Fett, but eventually chooses other career opportunities offered by her target:
Fett: You uncovered everything about me. You found the only people I care about and you attacked them. You’ve studied me. [launching rocket at soldiers down below] You think you know everything about me?
Fett: Then tell me honestly [giant explosion billows up from the street] — do you seriously think there’s anyway to win this fight?
The painting style by Chris Scalf gives the issue a great feel – a bit like a Western. We have the cooler darkness of the safe house, and harsh light of the outside world, where danger intrudes. The colorful Mandalorian armor patterns go well with this style, and the looks on the character’s faces (well, not Fett, who spends this issue masked) like Teychanne and Connor and Sintas capture their emotions well. I’m only disappointed that there are no creatures depicted in this issue. While there are some awesome shots of Fett in action (leaping out of Slave I, looking badass with an explosion behind him), my favorite panel of Fett is him leaving the scene, and Connor emerging from the safe house with a frown on his face. Though I think overall, one of the best sets of panels is of Sintas, Connor, and Ailyn, in the secret chamber in the safe house as she motions for silence, and then passes Connor a helmet, telling him to suit up.
Overall, I’ve been pretty excited about Boba Fett Is Dead – there is a such a richness to the artwork, and we got a great story that tied into the larger picture of Boba Fett and the people he cares about. for a series that started off with just a trail of bodies and explosions, it tapered off on the action a little in the end, but the results are still satisfying – we find out the why behind everyone’s actions. Will we see more of Connor, Boba Fett, Sintas or even Teychanne? I hope so, in future stories in Blood Ties.
Also: Did you catch my interview with Tom Taylor at Comic Con?