I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Marvel #27 - Return of the Hunter



A popular villain returns in this issue, namely Valance aka The Hunter. We last saw him tracking down the Starhoppers (Han's buddies who he believed to be the rebels who destroyed the Death Star) and we know a couple of facts about him. 1 - he is part cyborg after a nasty accident. 2 - he has a deep hatred of droids and is disgusted by the idea that Luke Skywalker treats them as equals.

Since his disappearing act in the last issue that featured him, Valance has been hanging out on a world called Feriae Junction, gunning down two-bit hoodlums in seedy cantinas. One of his employers pays him in droids which Valance promptly blasts into smithereens. Part of this may be some sort of twisted therapy for his self-loathing at being a cyborg, but part of it is due to his desire to destroy the two droids that Luke treats as his friends.

Meanwhile, Luke and 3PO are scouting out an Imperial blockade and narrowly avoid destruction by a Star Destroyer. They hop into hyperspace and make for Junction where they plan to pick up parts for repairing R2 units. Valance is alerted to their presence and makes to intercept them, but stops to quickly dispose of an imperial spy who has been keeping tabs on him.

The showdown between Luke and Valance goes down in a scrapyard and after a shot from his blaster is deflected by Luke's lightsaber, Valance takes it in the face and his cybernetics are revealed. This doesn't stop him from disarming Luke and things look bad for our intergalactic farmboy until 3PO steps between the two of them, prepared to die for his master. This totally blows Valance's mind as he cannot comprehend the reasoning a droid might have to sacrifice itself for a human. He lets Luke and 3PO go on their merry way while he presumably rethinks his life...

2 comments:

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

This is the definite Valance the Hunter story, though that isn't hard to believe given his three measly appearances. I loved that character and didn't even learn *spoiler alert*

...that his last issue was #29, because I missed that one during the original run.

EJK said...

I'd give half my face for a Valance 3.75" action figure!