Today saw the release of issue #38 of Marvel Comics’ ongoing series Star Wars: Bounty Hunters. Below are my brief recap and thoughts about this installment.
Bounty Hunters #38 begins with a flashback to the Clone Wars era on Kligson’s Moon, the home of Ajax Prime’s colony (called “The Haven”) of free-thinking droids. There Telemak– the leader in Ajax’s absence– and Tar Kligson– heir to the namesake of the moon– greet General Grievous, who has come seeking more droids to add to his Separatist army. Telemak refuses, reinforcing the liberty of his fellow droids, which causes Grievous to attack. Then writer Ethan Sacks cuts back to the “present” (the period set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) at the same location, where T’onga’s crew is getting fed up with waiting for Kligson to complete his repairs on the cyborg bounty hunter Beilert Valance. We then see that Kligson has Valance almost crucified in his laboratory and is controlling the words and actions of Telemak remotely. Meanwhile, Zuckuss and 4-LOM are sneaking around the back hallways of the Haven trying to find “fellow droids” to get intel from, but they are soon ambushed by the Scourge’s spider droids– not to mention the rest of the droids there that have already been possessed by the Scourge virus. In a hail-Mary maneuver, Zuckuss shoves his droid partner into an escape pod, sending 4-LOM out into space, which causes the evil droids to completely lose interest in the Gand.
Sacks and his current artist Davide Tinto then follow up on the Grievous flashback to show how that cyborg commander eventually realized he would be overwhelmed by the droid opposition at the Haven and retreated, vowing to return after the fall of the Republic (though anyone who’s seen Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith knows he doesn’t survive those events). But it seems as though the real point of these flashbacks is to demonstrate how Tarr Kligson was mistreated by Telemak, making him go even further insane and eventually take over the colony. Then the issue concludes with this month’s cliffhanger in the present, as Valance returns to T’onga and her crew, only to act as though his memories have now been completely wiped away, and murdering the Clawdite Catak when she attempts to shapeshift into Beilert’s long-lost love. It’s a pretty exciting issue, though General Grievous’s presence here felt a little fan-servicey. Still, it was cool to get more insight into the history of the Haven and Kligson’s Moon, plus another compelling tie-in to the Dark Droids crossover event. There’s certainly a lot going on in the pages of Bounty Hunters right now, and I have to wonder if and how T’onga and friends will be able to restore Valance’s memory and get him back on their side once again… all while dealing with the Scourge menace.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #38 is available now wherever comic books are sold.