BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
Did the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett reveal the former bounty hunter’s daughter? That’s propelling sales for Star Wars Tales #7, but it’s not the only key issue you should be watching this week.
A BRIEF REVIEW
Another episode of Book of Boba Fett is in the books, and there are new comics to chase. If you haven’t noticed it yet, all of the Disney+ action series follow a similar format. Whether it’s Marvel or Star Wars, after an action-packed episode, the next installment is usually slower paced with some character introspection. The real keys to the overall success of the show are new characters and Easter eggs week after week. In fact, most of the Marvel shows rely more on fresh faces and Easter eggs than plot to reel in viewers.
BOBF is continuing the Disney+ tradition, and the show’s third episode has its share of nods to its broader mythology and gives us our first look at what could be an important character. During Chapter Three, Boba Fett is sent to deal with a gang of youths at the behest of the local water salesman. There we meet what could be Boba Fett’s daughter straight from the comics, Ailyn Vel. Boba recruits her and her friends to his crime family, and from there, it becomes “Star Wars: Rebels Without a Cause” brought to life. The teens’ bikes were far too colorful for the general muted browns of Mos Espa, and they looked too much like actual motorcycles for my tastes.
So far, I have enjoyed Book of Boba Fett with its nostalgia and character exploration. The show has a good look that’s in line with The Mandalorian, especially the visuals of Mos Espa and the Tatooine deserts. Expanding the Tusken Raiders’ mythos and culture has been a bright spot for the series as well. Still, there’s something missing from BOBF, and Chapter Three put a magnifying glass on the problem: Boba Fett is too passive. Sure, we’ve seen him in a few fight scenes, but as a crime lord and mythical tough guy, he has become a welcome mat.
For a ruthless bounty hunter and mob boss, Boba is the most altruistic character in all of Star Wars at this point. He makes plenty of threats, but nothing comes of it. Whether Fett is insulted, attacked, or both, he responds with kindness and makes a new friend. The teen biker gang insults him? He pays their debts and recruits them. He even apologizes for making a one-eye comment to a biker wearing an eye patch. I understand if Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are moving away from toxic masculinity, but Boba Fett didn’t become a legend among fans by being the nicest bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Hopefully, this is all building toward a Clint Eastwood Unforgiven moment when he stands all he can stands until he can’t stands n’more, and BOBF ends with Boba Fett reminding fans why they fell in love with him in the first place.
Maybe this wasn’t the strongest entry in BOBF so far, but it still has its highlights, especially where comic collecting is concerned. On that note, here are the key issues that should be on this week’s shopping list.
STAR WARS TALES #7
After this week’s episode of BOBF, Star Wars Tales #7 is poised to kick in the afterburners. Although Vel is featured as a baby in a hologram in this issue, it still marks her first appearance. In collecting terms, it is comparable to Superman: Convergence #2, which featured Jonathan Kent’s debut as a baby as well. That issue remains the major key for the super son, and I suspect this will be the same case for Star Wars Tales #7.
Prices have been on the way up since the first trailers for BOBF. As soon as the teenage biker was given her close up, collectors took to the auction sites to get their hands on this issue. Now that she has made her full debut in Episode Three, this issue is on the verge of breaking records in the coming days.
The sales have not started rolling in quite yet, but it is coming. Just last week, a graded 9.6 brought $175 followed by a record-breaking $275 on Sunday. The big prize is the 9.8, and we haven’t seen that grade sold online since December when a copy brought $370 on December 27.
As you peruse the auction sites for Star Wars Tales #7, be on the lookout for the photo variant. This one featured an image of Boba Fett from the original trilogy, and it has been the single biggest seller among all the SWT #7s. Last year, the graded 9.8s reached a new level. In February, a new record was set at $600, and the next sale was for an impressive $575 in July.
STAR WARS BLOOD TIES: BOBA FETT IS DEAD #2
In 2012, Ailyn Vel made her first appearance as a young girl in Blood Ties #2. Since this is not her first appearance, it won’t be quite as valuable as Star Wars Tales #7, but it is still worth adding to your collections. Granted, BOBF has not confirmed whether or not the teenage biker is Boba Fett’s daughter, but the hints are there. At this point, Blood Ties #2 is not an expensive pickup, so there is investment potential. Still, prices are rising. Last weekend, a graded 9.8 sold for just over $100. Meanwhile, the raw copies were selling for around $40 at the end of December. So far in January, most raw copies are being purchased in a set with the other Blood Ties issues, but that should change momentarily.
DARTH MAUL #3 (2000)
One of the more intriguing allusions from this week’s BOBF was a throwback to Star Wars: the Clone Wars. While it is easy to focus on the cameo from actor Danny Trejo as the rancor trainer, don’t ignore the story that he shared with Boba Fett. While explaining the bond between a rancor and its master, Trejo alludes to the Witches of Dathomir and how they would ride rancors through the forest. Picturing Boba Fett riding a rancor is a great visual, but there is more to those witches than just taming monsters.
Also known as the Nightsisters, the Witches of Dathomir appeared in several episodes of Clone Wars. In the comics, they are depicted as a group of Force-sensitive women related to the legendary Jedi, Allya. Although the Nightsisters are not trained as Jedi, they do have magical powers. One of the most Nightsisters is Count Dooku’s Sith apprentice, Ventress, but of course, the best known Dathmorian is Darth Maul.
As we have seen in The Mandalorian, Filoni and Favreau enjoy sprinkling Clone Wars references throughout their live-action series. The allusion to the Witches could prove to be more than a passing mention. After Boba Fett’s time with the Tusken Raiders, his character has embraced his more spiritual nature, and that is in line with the Witches of Dathmoir. It would not be a stretch for one of them to appear on Tatooine by BOBF’s finale.
As far as collecting, the issue to grab is 2000’s Darth Maul #3. Not only do you get the first appearance of the Nightsisters, but the spotlight is shone on one character in particular, Mighella, whose name could be dropped in the near future. If you are looking for a copy, you can expect to pay around $80 based on the 90-day average for a graded 9.8, though the most recent sale was for $51 in December.
DARTH MAUL: SON OF DATHOMIR #2 (2014)
The Pyke Syndicate is being positioned for a larger role in BOBF. The crime family first appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon and Solo, and they have been featured in the past two episodes of BOBF. The third chapter of Boba Fett suggests a war with Boba Fett for the fate of Mos Espa. There could be more to come with the family not only in BOBF, but the other Disney+ series. The Pykes first appeared as a group in 2014’s Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2, and this issue will be getting more looks thanks to BOBF. Another reason to want this issue is for Mother Talzin. She is the matriarch of the aforementioned Nightsisters, but her claim to fame is being the mother of Darth Maul. There are plenty of hints that we will see Maul return to live action in Kenobi, and we could see Talzin as well.
Not many copies have been moving online as of late, but yesterday did see a raw one bring $30. Before that, a graded 9.6 sold for $100 on December 31. Before that, a 9.8 earned $304 on December 7.
Compared to last week, BOBF Chapter Three was not as action-packed, but it serves its purpose in the overall narrative. I suspect that we will discover the true identity of the teenage biker and whether or not she is Boba Fett’s daughter. Black Krrsantan could make a return during the coming battle with the Pykes’ army, but what we really want is to see Boba riding his pet rancor.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.