Comic Review – Zuckuss Flashes Back to His Origin Story On Gand in “Star Wars: Bounty Hunters” #32

As a pretty big fan of that classic lineup of bounty-hunter characters aboard Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor in The Empire Strikes Back, I’m always happy to see new stories focused on them, like the one we got in last week’s new issue of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters from Marvel Comics.

Bounty Hunters #32 begins with a flashback to the planet Gand, where a young Zuckuss is called by his brood Mother to participate in a tribal ritual called the Great Rite.

Then writer Ethan Sacks cuts to the “present” of this comic (the period set between the events of Empire and Return of the Jedi), where the bounty-hunter crew of the Edgehawk is being pursued by the Galactic Empire’s deadly Inferno Squad and its Commander Iden Versio (both originally from the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game). In order to shake this elite unit, the Edgehawk enters into the Lost Souls Asteroid Field, where it can only hope to hide until it hopefully emerges from the other side without having been destroyed. Meanwhile, a mysterious Force wave emitted by the ancient device known as the Fermata Cage– an event that apparently happens in the upcoming finale of the Star Wars: Hidden Empire miniseries, though it’s a bit confusing that these were released out of order– causes the Force-sensitive Gand findsman Zuckuss to go into a self-imposed trance, temporarily reentering his own memories about the above-mentioned Great Rite. This is unfortunate for the other bounty hunters who need Zuckuss to navigate through the asteroid field, but fortunate for us as readers who are treated to the Gand’s origin story for the first time.

In the Great Rite, Zuckuss must compete against other Gand young to retrieve the rare T’karra flower and go up against a creature called the Charon (borrowed from the late-80s Star Wars roleplaying game). Zuckuss succeeds in defeating the menacing Charon, but having abandoned the T’karra during the slaughterous confrontation he is exiled by his clan and vows to “find his own way” in the galaxy. Back in the present, Zuckuss’s faithful droid sidekick 4-LOM manages to awaken the Gand by replicating the sound of the ancient incantation that concluded his flashback, and with his help the crew is able to evade the last of the asteroids. But Iden Versio’s Inferno Squad is still out there searching for our antiheroes, and if the cover of next month’s issue is any indication they’ll be heavily featured in upcoming chapters of this story. In the meantime, I thought Bounty Hunters #32 was an excellent issue, considering it featured the Zuckuss origin tale I never knew I needed. Sacks skillfully balanced the ongoing threat in the present with the effort of tying it into events from Zuckuss’s past, and guest artist Alessandro Miracolo did a pretty solid job of mimicking the style and tone of regular contributor Paolo Villanelli. Overall I’ve really been digging this period of Bounty Hunters (after the fate of Cadeliah was left to Lady Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn), and I’m definitely looking forward to more.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #32 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.