Thursday, May 14, 2020

Retro Dark Horse

Star Wars: Boba Fett - Agent of Doom

Dark Horse released seven Boba Fett one-shots between December 1995 and April 2006.  None are as dark or satisfying as Boba Fett - Agent of Doom published in November 2000.

Written by John Ostrander with art by Cam Kennedy, the story opens with one of the few surviving Gulmarid, Brighteyes, telling Boba Fett how his species from the planet Gulma were forced onto the ship Azgoghk by the Empire a few months before the Battle of Endor.  Onboard his people were either killed or forced to work for the Empire under appalling conditions.  Their captors, Admiral Mir Tork and doctor Leonis Murthé, are loathsome characters.  "Tork was committed to the Emperor's vision of cleansing the galaxy of all but humans." and "Murthé kept his laboratories going day and night, finding new means to make beings die..."  The Rebel Alliance save a few Gulmarid when they force the Azgoghk to land, but Tork and Murthé escape.  The survivors are dying and want to hire Boba Fett to avenge the genocide of their species.  Fett argues the two were just obeying orders, but Brighteyes explains that the two have since retaken the Azgoghk along with slavers and continue to kill non-human species.  Brighteyes offers Fett a meager one hundred credits and also explains no other bounty hunter wants the difficult job.  Boba Fett's reputation is damaged due to the Sarlaac incident on Tatooine as well as Han Solo escaping him several times so he agrees to take the job to restore his name.

Back on the Azgoghk, Captain Tork and Murthé are seen torturing and killing.  Murthé explains he "gave up any pretense at science a long time ago" and does the killings "for simple pleasure."  Tork replies: "Doesn't matter to me so long as they wind up dead."  The ship is landing on the planet Malicar 3 when Fett shoots it with an Ion Cannon, destroying one of the engines.  Fett radios to the ship that he just wants Tork and Murthé and everyone else can leave.  He then fights his way aboard, killing many slavers and freeing some prisoners.  When Murthé confronts him, Fett lights him on fire and walks away while Murthé begs for Fett to kill him.  Fett guns down Tork and is attacked by the still burning Murthé who Fett then dispatches.  Outside the ship, Fett tells the escaped prisoners his name is Boba Fett.  He then brings the heads of Tork and Murthe to Brighteyes who says he does not need the proof because "after all... you are... Boba Fett... Yes, you are."

Star Wars: Boba Fett - Agent of Doom a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (November 2000)
Boba Fett - Agent of Doom is a Western revenge story.  Boba Fett is the lone cowboy and Tork and Murthé are the corrupt sheriffs.  Fett telegraphs that he is coming and takes down the bad guys in a climatic shootout.

This is an extremely dark Star Wars tale.  The Azgoghk is depicted as a Nazi concentration camp with Mir Tork acting as the commandant and Murthé as the Nazi scientist performing inhumane experiments on his captives.  At one point in the story, Brighteyes mentions that Tork would occasionally kill a group of prisoners himself for no apparent reason.  Ostrander and Kennedy do such a good job painting Tork and Murthé as despicable villains, you find yourself cheering when Boba Fett kills them towards the end.

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