REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – IG-88,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

IG-88 #1 - But Why Tho

IG-88 #1 is the final one-shot starring one of The Empire Strikes Back’s ever-popular bounty hunters. The issue is written by Rodney Barnes with art from Guiu Vilanova, colors by Antonio Fabela, letters by VC’s Ariana Maher, and is published by Marvel Comics. Some call IG-88 the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy. Others, namely Darth Vader, call him a nuisance or an obstacle. However, after being cut down by the Dark Lord of the Sith, an obsessive repairman RB-919 finds and fixes the droid bounty hunter at a certain employer’s request.

There is no requirement to have read previous issues in the ongoing War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event to pick up IG-88 #1. Like the most recent one-shot, Boushh #1, it’s more of a poetic ode to the character, which may play into a future story more than it requires prior or ongoing knowledge. Where it differed from Boushh #1, though, is in how much heart the story contains.

No, it’s not lacking heart because IG-88 doesn’t have one. In fact, the droid’s existential musings are the strongest part of the comic. It’s more so a matter of how much time is wasted in setting up IG-88’s time in the sun. The whole first half of the comic is about RB-919, who frankly, just doesn’t matter. So why spend so much time elaborating on his feelings when a more interesting and beloved character is right there waiting? It’s a shame so much time is spent building up towards the droid’s reassembly because the narcissistic cyborg doing the work just doesn’t interest me. His employers do, but that’s a story for previous crossover issues and future stories.

None of this results in a strictly bad comic; it’s just not fulfilling compared to last month’s entry. You could skip this comic entirely and miss no story beat. It undoubtedly begs some interesting philosophical points about existence and purpose for being, but it never even ventures to answer those questions, likely leaving it for a future story.

Artistically the book is on point. The giant junk piles are a strong detail, while the stylization used to depict the other bounty hunters is awesome. They’re just slightly caricatured versions of what we’re used to seeing in their ongoing comics, which emphasizes IG-88’s personal belief that he’s superior to any and all of them. And I love that for him because despite not growing the emotional attachment I had hoped this issue would have inspired, it does at least leave me rooting for him in the end.

The issue also smartly uses gradient colors in its backgrounds and avoids the tired sandy colors for its otherwise sandy environments. These choices keep the colors fresh, an issue Star Wars comics often run up against since so many of the environments are desolate and sandy otherwise. The lettering is simple and straightforward and thus perfect.

IG-88 #1 is alright as a stand-alone comic, poor as a tie-in, and not all that special as a tribute to a bounty hunter people have adored for decades.

IG-88 #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – IG-88 #1
3

TL;DR

IG-88 #1 is alright as a stand-alone comic, poor as a tie-in, and not all that special as a tribute to a bounty hunter people have adored for decades.