The first story arc of Marvel’s Star Wars: Bounty Hunters comic book continues this week with issue #5, in which Boba Fett has caught up with Beilert Valance and his former mentor Nakano Lash with the plan to enact revenge for a botched mission on the planet Corellia years earlier.

We’ve discovered through flashbacks to that event that Lash has taken a child named Cadeliah under her wing– the progeny of star-crossed members of the two warring Corellian crime syndicates the Unbroken Clan and the Mourner’s Wail Syndicate. The particularly ruthless Fett has already murdered fellow bounty hunter T’onga in his rage-fueled rampage, and now he must go up against Valance and Lash in an issue-spanning duel to the death, while other members of the Unbroken Clan also seek to destroy the vessel on which all these characters’ paths have collided.

It’s a heavily action-oriented installment, with more than one splash page conveying explosions or knock-down drag-out fight sequences, but we also get an even-further-in-the-past flashback to Nakano Lash’s traumatic youth on the ocean planet Glee Anselm (which first appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series). What follows is an entire issue’s worth of punches thrown, faces kicked, flamethrowers ignited, and shots fired as Fett and Valance go at it, with Lash doing her best to protect Cadeliah, before taking on the man in the Mandalorian armor herself.

The breakneck pacing and aggressive conflict in Bounty Hunters #5 play to writer Ethan Sacks’ strengths, but I’m still not head-over-heels in love with the overly stylized, sketchy art by Paolo Villanelli. Occasionally I feel as though his character work has an anime influence that doesn’t quite fit the Star Wars mood for me, although that may very well just be my personal taste. Still, this issue is bound to appeal to anyone who seeks nearly non-stop intensity from their Star Wars stories, and it sure is fun to see Boba Fett using all the tools at his disposal to take on his foes in mortal combat. And this month’s chapter concludes with something of a change in status for most of the major players in this tale, so it will be interesting to see how the narrative progresses from here on out.

Variant cover for "Star Wars: Bounty Hunters" #5

Variant cover for "Star Wars: Bounty Hunters" #5

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #5 is available now wherever comic books are sold.