Lando Calrissian is a smooth talking, cape wearing con man with impeccable fashion sense and maybe too much weakness for gambling. He was also recently played by Donald Glover in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the younger version of the character is the star of the miniseries Lando: Double or Nothing #1 from Rodney Barnes, Paolo Villanelli, and Andres Mossa. The story is an extended negotiation between Lando, who just wants some extra credits to turn the Millennium Falcon into a space casino, and Kristiss, who wants him to use his vaunted smuggling abilities to help her people, the Petrusians, rebel against the Empire. She promises him to pay him too because Lando isn’t super altruistic.
On a pure craft level, Lando #1 is a success. Barnes sharply recreates the voices of both Lando and his socially conscious, snarky droid co-pilot L3, and Villanelli is at ease drawing Lando’s smile and body language as he comes to grips with Kristiss’ offer and tries to play it cool. Likewise, Villanelli is also in his element depicting highly rendered space battles and chase because, of course, the Falcon runs into some Imperial TIE Fighters pretty early on. His style is a happy medium between the cartooning of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures and the photorealism (And possibly tracing.) of Salvador Larroca’s work on Darth Vader and Star Wars. To complete the visual package, Mossa lays down a smooth color palette to show the bright light of the club, the classy interior of the Falcon, and energy coursing through space when Lando and company go on the run.
Lando #1 trades celibate, imperialist mysticism and trade disputes for flirting, fast spaceships, and cluttered interior spaces. Sure, this is a first issue so Rodney Barnes has to quickly get readers up to snuff on the whole Perusian situation via exposition, but Kristiss isn’t a helpless innocent and plays Lando at his game plying him with drinks, deals involving money, and maybe even a kiss. They have pretty decent chemistry, and Barnes mines a lot of humor from L3 commenting on Lando trying to be a smooth operator with a pop of yellow shirt. Whenever Lando thinks he’s legendary or has some general sense of swagger, she is there to cut him down to size with a sharp remark. Humor is really the engine that keeps this comic running at this point.
Lando: Double or Nothing #1 is a great comic to pick up after watching Solo and (and hopefully) wishing that maybe Lando and L3 deserved a little more screen time. Paolo Villanelli and Andres Mossa turn in a spectacular chase sequence, and hopefully, they and Rodney Barnes can continue to add some fun wrinkles to the opportunism versus altruism conflict that has defined Lando as a character since he mispronounced Han Solo’s name for the first time back in 1980.
Story: Rodney Barnes Art: Paolo Villanelli Colors: Andres Mossa Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.8 Art: 8.2 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review