• Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1

    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: Apr. 30, 2014
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    Matt Kindt (of MIND MGMT fame) gets his turn at the wheel in the Star Wars universe, creating a series focusing on Han Solo. The story takes place not long after the destruction of the first Death Star and is related courtesy of a brand-new Rebel recruit who doesn’t know what to think about the famous smuggler.

    The recruit, named Jan, is on his first assignment, going to meet a more experienced operative on the busy planet of Corellia. He goes to the address he’s been supplied but is immediately confronted by an Imperial strike team. Before he can react in any way blaster shot whizz past him, eliminating the threat. Jan turns to find Han Solo there being his usual smarmy, capable self.

    Jan’s narrative here turns to detailing his admiration for Solo, the way he seems so effortless in his carrying out his plans that seem to be completely improvised. The two escape new Imperial pursuers, much to Solo’s chagrin. He radios another contact, telling them they’ve unfortunately lost their tail. Jan is very confused, thinking about Solo more closely now, beyond the hero-worship aspect. He wonders not only what the heck Solo is up to but, also, how does someone mature into this kind of person, brimming with infectious confidence while playing everything very close to the chest.

    It’s here, though, that the narrator becomes exasperatingly annoying. He constantly - and I do mean *constantly* - questions every single move Solo makes as the Rebel hero seemingly wants he and Jan to get caught. And when they are, well, Jan’s frustration at both this first assignment and losing the respect/credibility are just overwhelming for him. While it’s obvious Solo has a plan this rookie can’t see it at all so we’re subjected to his constant whining which really hurts this story overall.

    By the story’s end, even, Jan spills everything he knows, he’s so disillusioned in Solo, pegging him as truly mercenary that may not even care about saving his own skin. Held captive in a makeshift prison of sorts while they await transport elsewhere, Jan now just plain hates Solo and the hero is left, alone, allowing the credibility of his threat to grow - which is clearly part of the plan.

    Kindt’s first foray into this universe starts off promisingly enough, especially choosing a story around one of its best characters. But his method of getting at the enigma that is Han Solo comes off as fairly annoying. I get what he’s trying to do here - cast aspersions on this popular hero just to then reveal the true depth of his cunning - but it’s just frustrating. Thankfully, the artwork from Marco Castiello is top-notch, with Solo’s likeness presented near-perfectly and the action scenes getting nice, big panels to play with. I’m a fan of Kindt’s other work so I think it’ll be worth sticking around with this series to see where he takes it but it’s off to a rough start.