Thursday, November 2, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt - Betrayal

Bib Fortuna is the main focus in the fourth one-shot, Jabba the Hutt - Betrayal.  Jabba and his entourage finally return to Tatooine and while they were away, Bib had asked Nivek to recruit several of Jabba's underlings to help Bib overthrow Jabba.  Bib leaves Jabba in the throne room, certain he and his guards will soon be asleep due to their long journey, to visit Nivek and meet the recruits.  Bib explains his reasons for wanting to overthrow Java when one of the recruits states "I believe you hate him more than we do."

Bib Fortuna: "Hate?  What a tiny insignificant, useless word.  What I feel for Jabba can only be expressed by causing every nerve in his body to experience the greatest possible pain for the longest possible time.  Every moment I spend in his company is an eternity of loathing.  The overpowering stench that pours from his open mouth, the sight of his thick, greasy, pustule-covered flesh, his unspeakable acts of depravity...  He is the most revolting monster in the galaxy!  And this creature, this heap of fat and entrails and low cunning, this thing has made a servant of me.  Worse, a slave.  He degrades me, abuses me, amuses himself by abasing me.  Me!  Whose shadow he is not fit to touch!"

It turns out Bib Fortuna is not happily to be in Jabba's employment!  The plan is to have Bib lead the others to the throne room where they will kill Jabba's guards and capture Jabba so Bib can torture him for information.  Bib returns to the throne room only to find Jabba has taken up a conversation with Gru'un and his large female associate Miramba.  When Jabba sends Bib to fetch drinks, Bib takes the opportunity to also fetch a blaster which he conceals.  Back in Jabba's presence, Bib offers to hang up Gru'un's cape when the blaster falls to the floor.  Jabba suspects Gru'un of betrayal and has him and his associate Miramba locked in a cell and Jabba begins to doze.  Bib goes to get his recruits to put his plan in motion, but one of the recruits wanders off and overhears Gru'un and Miramba plot to kill Jabba.  It turns out Miramba is really a droid and her large frame is hiding freckers, nasty, sentient, ferret-like creatures.  When Bib and his fellow conspirators reach the throne room, Jabba and his guards are already being attacked by the freckers.  Not wanting Jabba dead, Bib and his followers attack the freckers.  Unfortunately, while they win the fight, all of Bib's men are killed.  Jabba, unaware of the real reason why Bib and the others were there, has an epiphany about their relationship:

Jabba the Hutt: "I never knew how loyal you are, Bib.  I thought you might have been... biding your time... didn't trust you."
Bib Fortuna: "I... you... uh."
Jabba the Hutt: "You killed like a champion for me.  Risked your life.  I won't forget this.  You and me, Bib.  You and me."
Bib Fortuna: "You and me.  Your excellency."

Since this story takes place before the events in Return of the Jedi where Bib Fortuna is still serving as Jabba's majordomo, one could surmise that Bib had a change of heart about Jabba.  I tend to believe Bib was biding his time for another opportunity to overthrow Jabba.

Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt - Betrayal a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (February 1996)
The cover shows Jabba in his throne room fighting off freckers.  The interior art by Art Wetherell improves as each one-shot is released and the artwork inside this issue has detailed backgrounds and less cartoony aliens, making this a more serious take on the characters and situations than previous issues.  It is unfortunate this was the final one-shot, as Wetherell appears to have a much better grasp on the tone to take with these stories.

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