Lando: Double or Nothing #1

Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Paolo Villanelli
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: W. Scott Forbes
Publisher: Marvel

Review by Christoph Staffl

Just by looking at the cover of this magnificent issue, Lando: Double or Nothing #1, you know you are in for a treat. The colors are popping, the fonts of the title look fresh, and the Millennium Falcon literally underlines all those statements, by including a cartoonish look to it. I also love the coloring on Lando’s face and how his cape frames it. Not just does it have this three-dimensional look, but it also seems to be something Lando would select for the cover of his debut album. It’s funky.

We meet Lando shortly after he acquired the Millennium Falcon, as it seems. He discusses some decoration ideas with L3-37, of which she is not amused about. The dynamic between those two characters is just incredible and reflects everything we learned about them in the Solo movie. Lando is even more narcissistic and egocentric than ever, which makes “Ellthree” (aren’t those verbalizations of a Droid’s ID lovely?) a great counterpart.

Meanwhile, on the planet Kullgroon an underground group of Petrusians, who seem to have infiltrated a facility of the empire, are planning a coup. The only problem is that they have to find weapons on the planet. And Kristiss, daughter of Rythus who has infiltrated said facility, knows just the guy for the job. But “he won’t come cheap.”

The story so far is rather simple, which is not a criticism. The characters, which are embedded in this rich universe, and their interactions with one another, make this a fun ride. Lando’s behavior around people and his “unique” personality that gets him into trouble, but most of the time also is the solution to the problem it caused, would be annoying if it wouldn’t be for the other characters. Kristiss is an excellent addition to the Lando-Ellthree-Duo, which result in various situations and dialogues you don’t want to miss. Want an example? Here you go: “Please forgive him. I’ve concluded it has something to do with the cape. It enhances his delusions of grandeur.”

The artwork is great as well. Lens-flares, popping colors, detailed surroundings, and facial expressions that are just to die for are only the tip of the iceberg. Everything also takes place in a unique panel design that feels fresh and supports the eye-movement through the pages perfectly, so you don’t get lost in everything that is going on.

But not everything is shiny and sparkly in this issue, as the cover wants us to believe. My one big complaint about this issue is Lando’s pansexuality or better: the lack of it. Watching the movie and reading the news, I expected this comic to be more than your usual story of a smuggler and con artist, that happens to take place in the Star Wars universe. This story could have been the chance to really get into this topic. I am aware that this is just the first issue, but so far it is not even recognized. I hope they do that in the upcoming parts of the story.

Verdict: Buy it!

One of my favorite things about Solo: A Star Wars Story was Donald Glover’s performance as Lando Calrissian. Lando: Double or Nothing #1 tells not quite his origin story, but an essential part of it. And if the one complaint I have about Lando is handled within the next few issues, this seems to be a story you don’t want to miss.

Christoph Staffl

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