Lando and Ellthree Are Back in Star Wars: Lando - Double or Nothing #1 "Part I"
Writer Rodney Barnes and artist Paolo Villanelli have teamed up to bring us the new Star Wars series Lando - Double or Nothing. Lando - Double or Nothing appears to take place around the time of Solo: A Star Wars Story when both Lando and Ellthree are smuggling across the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon. Our story begins with Lando contemplating posh additions to the Falcon, such as a regal portrait of himself and some room accents. Ellthree is as practical and snippy as ever, advising our resident scoundrel that defense and communication upgrades would be a better use of their credits. Clearly, Lando has had some success to this point in his career.
Villanelli’s drawings are clean and detailed. The art is highly technical with robots, ships, and machinery. Villanelli does an excellent job with visuals that immerse us into the Star Wars universe. Andres Mossa’s inking brings a cool tone to the series with purples and blues, while also freestyling into livelier colors as the mood demands. In the opening sequence, Villanelli showcases his precise drawing ability with a display of Imperial Starfleet forces being dodged by the Millennium Falcon.
Barnes’ story begins with a plea for help from a Petrusian Barterer. Her father and people are forced to labor on Kullgroon and she needs Lando’s help in order to rescue them. Lando wants none of it, but after some friendly chit-chat and an impressive offer, he strikes a deal and makes his way to Kullgroon. Barnes’ exposition conveys the suave disposition of Lando and snarky commentary of Ellthree, which mirrors the Solo: A Star Wars Story movie quite nicely.
While Barnes’ excels in exposition, he fails to bring tension or originality to the series. The plot feels like a paint by the numbers piece that has been done over and over again. The emotion of the story was lacking and I didn’t feel invested in the plight of our protagonists. Villanelli’s artwork shines and is clearly the strong point of the series, but it isn’t enough to carry the comic book alone.
Star Wars: Lando - Double or Nothing #1 has great art, but fails to deliver an enticing story. This series is best suited for hardcore Star Wars fans or those who are specifically looking to learn more about the life and times of Lando and Ellthree.