When last we left the crew of the Edgehawk in Star Wars: Bounty Hunters from Marvel Comics, they were forced to stop for emergency repairs after their ship was damaged during their daring escape from the Empire.
Now, in Bounty Hunters #33 (released last week) our titular antiheroes are being pursued by the elite Imperial commando unit known as Inferno Squad, first made famous by the 2017 video game Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Bounty Hunters #33 begins at the black-market spaceport of Depatar, where the Edgehawk seeks out repairs. Inferno Squad watches the crew covertly via holo-surveillance, while inside the ship the cyborg Beilert Valance goes toe-to-toe with the Trandoshan Bossk, resulting from a vendetta these two have had for each other for a while. The other members of the crew (including Zuckuss and Losha) try to intervene in their brawl, but ultimately T’onga and 4-LOM just leave them to their own devices while they go off into the spaceport in search of supplies. Meanwhile on Corellia the assassin droid IG-88 turns up at the fortress of the Unbroken Clan crime syndicate hunting for its leader General Vukorah. But Vukorah finds herself facing a mutiny among her own people, which makes IG-88’s arrival almost advantageous to her, considering the amount of chaos the droid is about to sow. Back at Depatar, Inferno Squad finally strike as T’onga and 4-LOM wander through the spaceport’s marketplace by themselves.
We get a nice mano-a-mano fight sequence between T’onga and Inferno Squad leader Iden Versio, which culminates in T’onga getting knocked unconscious by one of Versio’s subordinates, as it seems the two combatants were evenly matched. Then Iden dons T’onga’s outfit and prepares to sneak aboard the Edgehawk in disguise to take out the unsuspecting remaining members of the crew, while an Inferno Squad sniper waits in hiding nearby as backup. That gives us this month’s suspenseful cliffhanger ending for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, and I have to say I’m really digging the direction this title has been going in lately. Valance being on the run from the Empire gives these characters a fairly fresh new purpose, and I have to wonder how the resolution of the Hidden Empire miniseries (with the collapse of Crimson Dawn and the failure of its effort to take out Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine) will affect the crew of the Edgehawk as they move forward. At any rate, being cut loose from the quest to protect Cadeliah has given writer Ethan Sacks and his artist Paolo Villanelli the freedom to move these various pieces around decidedly more interesting parts of the Star Wars galaxy, and I’m definitely looking forward to finding out where they go from here.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #33 is available now wherever comic books are sold.