I’m not going to lie– I’m probably the exact target audience for Lucasfilm Publishing and Marvel Comics’ new ongoing comic book series Star Wars: Bounty Hunters. Ever since I first saw that lineup of Dengar, IG-88, Boba Fett, Bossk, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss on the Super Star Destroyer Executor in The Empire Strikes Back, I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the vast possibilities that lie within this faction of the Star Wars universe (heck, I even named my new Star Wars-focused podcast “Who’s the Bossk?” in honor of my favorite growling Trandoshan).

That’s why I was incredibly excited to pick up the very first issue of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters today at my local comic shop. And by and large, I’m pleased to report that so far the title doesn’t disappoint.

Writer Ethan Sacks (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars: Allegiance) introduces a lot of ideas and characters in this first issue of Bounty Hunters, not to mention reintroducing familiar ones. It seems the main three characters of the series (or at least this initial arc) will be Boba Fett, Bossk, and Valance the Hunter– the latter of which was recently carried over from the abandoned continuity of Marvel’s original Star Wars comic run in the pages of Star Wars – Han Solo: Imperial Cadet and Star Wars – Target: Vader. We also meet some fresh faces and visit some recognizable locations, including a certain Outer Rim outpost currently visitable at Disney theme parks.

It seems Valance, Bossk, and Fett previously worked together on a botched mission to Corellia, where one of their fellow hunters named Nakano Lash ended up sabotaging their task by acting on impulse instead of following the plan. Now some time later– in the period immediately following the events of Empire— our three antiheroes are each separately notified of a new bounty… one on which they all have a vested interest in following up.

Now, anyone who’s been paying attention to recent Star Wars content knows the underworld of bounty hunters has been thoroughly explored in the smash hit Disney+ live-action series The Mandalorian, but that show made use of an entirely new set of characters– even the bounty-droid-turned-Baby-Yoda-nanny IG-11 is just an assembly-line cousin of the IG-88 assassin droid we’ve known since 1980. Anyway, the function of the Bounty Hunters Guild is fascinating enough that I’m sure it can sustain stories set in these two different time periods and with wholly disparate rosters. Might we also see an appearance by a younger Din Djarin in the pages of this comic? It seems entirely possible to me.

This premiere issue of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters spends the bulk of its time setting up the story to come in future installments, though it still has enough action and character moments– it’s even got a cameo appearance by everyone’s favorite space archaeologist– to make it entertaining on its own. My only real gripe is with the artwork by Paolo Villanelli (also of Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple). His depictions of each persona are fine on their own, but the staging of the book’s action is a little clunky and I found myself going back to reread certain sections a few times in order to make sure I understood what exactly was happening. It doesn’t help that they’re trying to be mysterious about a few particular reveals, but there has to be a way to do that kind of thing more clearly.

Still, I think Star Wars: Bounty Hunters is off to a really good start overall, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this story leads. It’s a fun time in the Star Wars comic book universe, and Marvel has been venturing into territory I always enjoyed in the Expanded Universe (now Legends) timeline. Is it too much to hope that Amanaman shows up as well?

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1 is now available wherever comic books are sold.