That scoundrel Lando Calrissian has stolen Emperor Palpatine’s personal yacht. With this premise, writer Charles Soule has made a compelling scenario for “Star Wars: Lando” #3, as he and his faithful cyborg Lobot and their allies scoot about the galaxy in an attempt to stay one light-year away from their pursuers. Both Soule and artist Alex Maleev capture the essence of the character, as Soule nails his calm demeanor and Maleev depicts his debonair look, evoking both the suave nature of the character first seen in “The Empire Strikes Back.” In this issue, though, Lando is largely a bystander, as his warrior companions take on two members of the Emperor’s Royal Guard and Lobot recovers from his injures.
If this issue suffers from anything, it’s that it’s the midpoint of a five-issue arc that has moved past the bold audacity of Lando’s swindle, but does not yet truly address the consequences of it. There’s very much a halftime feel to Soule’s story, which is enjoyable but doesn’t give very much for the lead character to do. With Lobot out of commission and Aleksin and Pavol fighting to the death against the Emperor’s guards, Lando and ugnaught Sava Korin largely discuss the significance of the ancient treasures housed within the heisted ship. Lando doesn’t really need to be there, but his name is on the cover, so he sticks around.
It’s logical enough that Lando and Sava Korin leave their warrior friends in the midst of a battle to help Lobot, but not so much when they take their sweet time going back to help them. There’s no sense of urgency as the trio takes leave of the battle, and Lando’s presumption that his allies would even survive — let alone triumph — in direct combat with the Emperor’s elite comes across as dismissive, even callous. When the battle is shown, Maleev’s choreography is somewhat choppy, and it’s difficult to discern what happens in some panels and how one transitions to the next. Maleev’s typically darker tones combined with the shadows of Paul Mounts’ colors make the sequence — and much of the issue for that matter — overly and often unnecessarily dark.
Maleev, though, demonstrates some impressive versatility, especially with facial likenesses; Lando’s good looks, Lobot’s generic ones and the sheer ugliness of Sava Korin are all rendered with the same dexterity and ample detail to clearly define them along with the usual rough, gritty inks that are typical of his work. A couple of new characters — a droid and a bounty hunter of sorts — are a little more generic in their designs, but it’s of no consequence to the story and their look still fits in with the overall “Star Wars” universe.
“Star Wars: Lando” #3 is an adequate midpoint for a miniseries that has been well done so far and lays down promise for future issues, despite reading very much like an interlude.