Star Wars: Lando (Trade Paperback)

(Marvel)

 

“Master of charm Lando Calrissian steps into his very own high-stakes adventure…”

 

Creators: Charles Soule & Alex Maleev

Genre: Sci-Fi / Graphic Novel

Reader Appeal: Ages 13 and up

Publisher Rating: T (teens)

 

Alright, here’s the official hype on this Marvel graphic novel collection of Star Wars: Lando #1-#5:

 

“Before he joined the rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, Lando made his way in the galaxy getting by on some swindles, some swagger, and a smile. Lobot at his side, Lando has a plan to steal a very valuable ship...but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Writer Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine, Inhuman, She-Hulk) and artist Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight) bring us the tale of a scoundrel in his natural element--trouble!”

 

The question is…does this book live up to the hype?

 

 Let’s see, Marvel promises us some swagger…a smile…a cool half-man/half-machine sidekick…and a heist caper over a very valuable ship. Fret not, true believer, Star Wars: Lando delivers on all those promises and more.

 

The best part of this book is Charles Soule’s active, attention-grabbing script. Soule really captures the voice and “swagger” that we love about Billy Dee Williams’ portrayal of Han Solo’s buddy, Lando. The story is engaging, surprising, with just enough mystery to make it exciting, but not so many unanswered questions as to make it confusing. The twists and turns keep coming, making you feel like you have to turn the page to find out what will happen next. I was hooked from page one. The only clunky part of the plot was in the depiction of twins/clones/brothers (?) Aleksin and Pavol, panther-headed assassins who team up with Lando for the heist. In what appears to be a contrivance aimed at “diversity” storytelling, these cat-guys are also homosexual lovers working to clone and adopt a child together. This seems an irrelevant plot aspect, especially considering that these guys are supposed to be, ah, brothers. This element does nothing to move the story forward, and actually feels kind of shoehorned into Lando’s tale to make some kind of political statement. Ah well, at least it made some editor happy.

 

Alex Maleev’s illustrations are filled with life and motion, a testament to his skill and vision for sequential-art storytelling. Paul Mounts is a fine colorist, though sometimes his panel-wash choices feel a bit heavy-handed, particularly when he bathes faces and bodies in an ever-present blood-red color. Apparently Lando only buys red bulbs for the lights inside his spaceship? Still, that’s a small detail and easily overlooked. Taken as a whole, Maleev and Mounts have done a fine job bringing to life the smuggler’s universe in which Lando Calrissian exists.

 

Parents should be aware that Star Wars: Lando contains violence, incestuous gay panther-assasins, and mild profanity. Marvel has rated this book as “T” for teen (ages 13 and up), and that feels about right, though some families may object to the thinly-disguised gay politics inserted into the story. Still, family members who overlook the politics, or who like a gay agenda in their comic-book stories—or who don’t rely on sci-fi comics to determine their moral and political standards—should enjoy this book. It really is a lot of fun, and good run of storytelling within the Star Wars universe.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:

 

• What was your impression after you finished reading Star Wars: Lando?

• The writer and editor of Star Wars: Lando portrayed assassins Aleksin and Pavol as gay lovers trying to have a child. Why do you suppose they thought that was an important part of the plot? What did you think?

• What’s the best way to handle it when a fictional story tries to influence your political or moral viewpoints in the real world? Explain.

 

--MN

 

All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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