Review: Han Solo #3 worth the delay despite art issues

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Oh, Han! How I’ve missed you. I was not happy to find out that, possibly due to a typo on the Marvel website, the third installment of your comic book series would not be released on Aug. 3rd but rather Aug. 31. Oh well, I suppose the month has passed and that misunderstanding should be behind us now (I’m still a little salty).

Han Solo #3 was released on Aug. 31 by Marvel. Photo courtesy of Marvel.

Han Solo #3 was released on Aug. 31 by Marvel. Photo courtesy of Marvel.

Anyway, yes, Mr. Solo is back in Marvel’s Han Solo #3, and this time he gets a bit of a rest from the drama of the Republic to focus on his mission, which is to find and rescue a number of Rebel informants while racing dangerously through the galaxy in the Dragon Void. So, well, not really much of a “rest,” but at least he’s out of those hand cuffs after one of the race officials talks the Republic forces out of performing an arrest.

Chewie and the first Rebel informant are also safe, which seemed an unlikely outcome at the end of the previous issue, but it’s a relief all the same. Now, Han, Chewie and the informant are back on the Millennium Falcon in time for the race to resume. Han’s challenge this time is to endure a whopping 12 hours of nonstop flying and dodging the “constantly shifting debris field,” being afforded absolutely no time to lose focus.

Unsurprisingly, Han perseveres the first 11 hours swimmingly (flying-ly?). Then at the last stretch, a side of the Falcon scrapes against a hunk of debris and begins to decelerate, putting him at risk of disqualification. But, alas! A fellow racer and Han’s newest frienemy launches a grappling hook-esq contraption to tandem the Falcon. “We’re even, smuggler,” the blue-skinned pilot grunts at Han over the radio communication system. Han, usually prideful, thankfully doesn’t protest the help.

Yay! Han survived the most difficult challenge yet, and the Republic has momentarily backed down. Us readers can rest easy now, right? Ha! Of course not.

While he and Chewie only have an hour to make repairs to the ship at the checkpoint planet before the next challenge begins, Han sets out to find the next Rebel informant. This comes as a surprise to the race announcers, who caution against pilots wandering too far from their ships with such little time to prepare.

Han finds who he’s looking for and presents them with the Rebel symbol, but somewhere in the exchange loses control of the situation and is walked back to the Falcon by the informant with two guns on him. When they reach the ship, the masked informant finally speaks, and both Han and Chewie recognize his voice.

“…This is awkward. How long has it been?” Han says to the informant, who’s still holding two guns to his back.

“Not long enough,” the informant replies, and finally takes his mask off in the closing scene to reveal a furry tiger-like face. “But I guess it’s as good a time as any to settle an old debt … Chewbacca.”

*Gasp!* We’re going to get a Chewbacca backstory! I’m excited, are you excited? I’m excited.

Before I wrap this review up, I do have to discuss the art. I’m still disappointed with Lee Bermejo’s style for the covers. The way he draws Han’s face makes him look more like modern-day Harrison Ford than A New Hope-era Harrison Ford, and it’s even more apparent with the low-lighting affect for this issue’s cover. That said, at least what he’s doing in the picture is more relevant to the story than it was in Han Solo #2.

Mark Brooks, as always, is a phenomenal penciler, and I especially appreciated the organization of the spread where Han is flying through debris for 12 hours. Brooks successfully portrayed the feel of a time lapse or a montage through comic book art, which is very impressive.

Anyway, I’m very much ready for a Chewbacca backstory. Han Solo #4 comes out Sept. 28, and you know I’ll be there.

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