After yesterday’s teaser image, Starwars.com wasted no time announcing what that big bad Boba Fett is up to starting in May! Charles Soule will be spearheading a line-wide crossover name War of the Bounty Hunters! It’s set between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and involves all the most sinister underworld elements in the galaxy vying for the prize-Han Solo in Carbonite!
The cross over starts in May with War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha by Charles Soule (writer) and Steve McNiven (artist), followed up with a 5-issue mini series and cross over issues from Darth Vader, Star Wars, Doctor Aphra and Bounty Hunters! Check out the un-lettered preview pages and official press release below!
Back in 2019, writer Charles Soule created a big pitch document for Marvel’s flagship Star Wars series. It outlined his plans for the title, but also included was one specific story he was itching to write.
“Boba Fett clearly doesn’t take Han Solo directly to Jabba’s palace,” Soule tells StarWars.com. “Something had to happen in between that intervening time between Empire and Jedi. And I was like, ‘I would like to tell that story, and I would like it to be about Boba Fett and what happens to him.”
Finally, Soule will get his chance. Following yesterday’s mysterious teaser image of Boba Fett, StarWars.com is excited to announce War of the Bounty Hunters, an epic crossover in the Merry Marvel tradition that will indeed reveal what Fett experienced on his journey to deliver Solo. Running from May through October, it all kicks off with War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 from Soule and artist Steve McNiven (“I think it’s the best work he’s maybe ever done,” Soule says; you can get a first look at the cover and interior art below) on May 5, and will then spin out into Marvel’s entire post-Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back line, including Star Wars, Bounty Hunters, Darth Vader, and Doctor Aphra. The five-issue War of the Bounty Hunters miniseries from Soule and Luke Ross, which will anchor the story, begins in June. From the sound of it, it wasn’t exactly smooth space sailing from Cloud City to Tatooine.
“The main story that we’re dealing with is a Boba Fett-focused crime epic, that involves Boba Fett going up against some of the heaviest hitters in the galaxy. It’s Jabba the Hutt. It’s Black Sun. It’s Darth Vader. And a bunch of others — factions and so on — that I think will be really interesting for the fans,” says Soule. “It’s basically Boba Fett, by himself, against all of these people.”
And what could make Boba Fett take on the galaxy’s worst? There could be only one thing.
“Boba Fett is in possession of Han Solo at the end of Empire Strikes Back, and at the beginning of War of the Bounty Hunters, he is not,” says Soule. “And he is going to do everything he can to get him back, no matter what. No matter who is standing in his way.”
While the inspiration for the story comes from Soule, he’s quick to point out that the overall event is a true collaboration between himself and several of Marvel’s Star Wars creators, including writers Greg Pak (Darth Vader), Alyssa Wong (Doctor Aphra), and Ethan Sacks (Bounty Hunters). “My co-writers on this story, and all of the great artists that we’re working with, it’s a fantastic team. This might’ve come from my brain to a degree, but we’re all adding things to it, and we’re all adding really interesting things to it,” he says. “Everybody’s getting to tell their own story within this over-arching plot of Boba Fett trying to get what’s his.”
War of the Bounty Hunters will be the biggest Star Wars story Marvel has told thus far. And while he can’t say much, Soule promises it will have an impact.
“War of the Bounty Hunters is a story about Boba Fett doing his thing, but it builds into something much bigger, and that’s what the best comic crossovers and big stories do. They tell a great story in and of themselves, but they’re also the start of something, and they open a lot of new doors. And this story will absolutely do that.”
Charles Soule took to Twitter to discuss the book a little bit further. Click on through the embed here or check out the text we’ve pasted from that thread below!
WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS, the biggest and baddest Star Wars comics crossover of the modern Marvel era… begins in May. What is it? Pretty simple: Boba Fett vs… everyone.
WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS runs from May to October, kicking off with an issue from me and my longtime friend and collaborator Steve McNiven. (We did Death/Return of Wolverine together, Uncanny Inhumans etc.) He’s INCREDIBLE, and I think this is his best work in ages. I mean…
Steve inked himself (to amazing effect), and the colors there are by the staggeringly talented Laura Martin. It’s always special whenever I get to work with Steve, and this is no exception. There’s a fight sequence in that issue that (literally) has to be seen to be believed.
The story: Boba Fett has Han Solo at the end of EpV, but we know it takes him a while to get to Jabba in EpVI (he’s not there yet when Lando and Chewie go to Tatooine just after Empire.) What took so long? Well, someone steals Han, and Boba has to get him back. NO MATTER WHAT.
That journey, which has MANY twists and turns, puts Boba up against the galaxy’s heaviest hitters, since basically all of the big factions and players have an interest in grabbing Han Solo. I mean, think about it…
The Imperials want Han Solo because he’s a high-level Rebel and source of intel. Vader wants him because Han’s the jerk who shot up his fancy TIE and let Luke blow up the Death Star at the end of A New Hope.
The Rebels want Han back because he’s their friend, colleague, and in at least one case, they’re in love with him.
Jabba the Hutt wants Han because he owes him money. Valance wants to help Han because he owes him. Aphra doesn’t care about Han but does care about money. And many more folks, from Black Sun to the Pykes… Han’s tangled with just about everyone in his day.
Against that churning backdrop of power and conflicting interests, we have poor Boba Fett, a simple man just making his way through the galaxy, who’s had his property stolen. He’s going to get it back, and he’s going to get paid. Simple. Just like Fett himself.
(The loose inspiration for this story is the classic 1967 Jon Boorman film POINT BLANK, starring Lee Marvin and based on the first Parker novel by Donald Westlake, The Hunter. If you haven’t seen it, that’s your homework between now and May.)
That said, there’s a LOT to War of the Bounty Hunters. Above is just the setup. It gets wild and complex and super fun, with amazing twists and surprises. I love Star Wars, and this is the kind of massive story I know I’d want to see. (And I get to play with ALL the toys, too.)
Also superb is that I get to work with all of the amazing writers and artists working on the Star Wars line right now! @gregpak on Vader, @crashwong on Aphra, @ethanjsacks on Bounty Hunters… and @RamonRosanas is drawing the crossover issues with me in the main Star Wars title.
Everyone’s doing their part, and it’s been fantastic to build the stories. Can’t forget @TommyGWrites or @MarkPaniccia or @cbcebulski in Marvel editorial, and @msiglain, @missingwords, @robcsimpson and Pablo Hidalgo at Lucasfilm for all their help too.
I’m sure I’ll be talking about this story much more between now and May, but I can leave it here for now. Boba Fett is clearly *having a moment*, and it’s really fun to get to tell a tale about him. I hope you’ll check it out.
P.S. This is not Dexter Jettster, as much as I love that particular greasy spoon-owner. This is another member of the same species. His name is Doc Leroy.
Steve McNiven also shared some process inks via Instagram: