Regardless of what some darker corners of the internet might think about Solo: A Star Wars Story, I believe all of us can come together and agree that Lando Calrissian (played by Donald Glover) and L3-37 (voiced by Pheobe Waller-Bridge) are the clear stand-outs. Much like his Empire Strikes Back counter-part, Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, with all his charm and swagger, has been a fascination for fans of Star Wars since his appearance in 1980. Glover’s ease at stepping into the iconic role, originally played by Billy Dee Williams, enhanced the heist film and gave long-time fans the character they have always wanted.
Why mention Glover’s performance so much in a review of the comic version of Lando? Well, for one, this isn’t an interpretation of Glover’s Calrissian; this comic is a straight extension of his character. Hearing Glover and Waller-Bridge’s voices in the characters’ dialogue not only makes this a lot of fun to read, it makes all of their lines seem so natural and in keeping with the mannerisms introduced in the film. If you’ve seen Solo, just try and read this comic without hearing Glover’s drawn-out machismo and verbal sex appeal.
Like any good prequel story, Double or Nothing #1 gives us insight into Lando and L3’s motivations as they take a job for a band of freedom fighters née smugglers as they try to free the enslaved population of their planet from the grips of the Empire. Lando’s reluctance and L3’s insistence are perfectly in line with the now established characters’ reasons for acting as well as their complicated relationship. Lando wants a flying mini-casino but doesn’t want trouble, while L3 wants to free slaves and keep her ship running smoothly. Lando hits on anything that moves and L3 is disgusted at his lack of moral fiber. This is a formula for success.
With spot on dialogue by writer Rodney Barnes and excellent character design by artist Paolo Villanelli, this comic should be an easy hit for the long term. Lando and L3 bicker, take a job they probably shouldn’t, get into some trouble, escape by the skin of their teeth, make some jokes about capes, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m in.