Boba Fett is one of the best, most cold-blooded and double-crossing bounty hunters in Star Wars, yet one classic character is perhaps even better.
- Beilert Valance, a classic Star Wars character, has received a major upgrade, making him a deadly cyborg and the new ultimate bounty hunter.
- Valance made his debut in 1978 and has been incorporated into the ongoing comic series Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, where he is far deadlier than before.
- With the removal of his humanity, Valance is now a killing machine with enhanced abilities, surpassing Boba Fett as the top bounty hunter in the galaxy.
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Warning! This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #39 Boba Fett has long held the title of Star Wars’ deadliest bounty hunter – even if that’s mainly just one old-school fans have assigned him – but now, there’s a new ‘killing machine’ that’s effectively usurped Boba’s position. Interestingly enough, this character-in-question isn’t even new, but a classic antihero with direct ties to some of the earliest Star Wars stories ever told. And now, this antihero has received a major upgrade – one that could give Boba Fett a run for his money.
This supposed ultimate bounty hunter is named Beilert Valance, a cyborg and the lead character of the ongoing comic series Star Wars: Bounty Hunters. While that series is pretty recent, Valance is actually a character who connects all the way back to the classic Marvel Comics Star Wars comic series of the 1970s. In fact, Valance made his debut appearance in 1978’s Star Wars #16 as Valance the Hunter, an ongoing antagonist charged with tracking down Luke Skywalker. Of course, those early stories have been designated ‘Legends’ now, though that doesn’t mean Valance has been completely cut out of continuity. As previously mentioned, Valance is the lead character of Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, which takes place in roughly the same time period as his debut in Star Wars #16 – only this time around, he’s far deadlier. As teased in an upcoming issue, Valance has been ‘perfected’ upon the removal of his human self. Now, he’s “just a killing machine”, capable of mowing down gangs of the galaxy’s best bounty hunters.
Star Wars’ Valance Just Became A Better Bounty Hunter Than Boba Fett
In a preview for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #39 by Ethan Sacks and Davide Tinto, Valance and his crew of galaxy-class bounty hunters meet someone who they were told could fix the issues Valance has been having with his cybernetic circuitry. Instead of fixing him, however, this villain-in-disguise removed what remained of Valance’s humanity. Now, Valance is more akin to a Terminator, a killer android wrapped in synthetic human skin. The preview ended with Valance turning on his team, and with this upgrade, he has the capacity to kill each and every one of them.
Before being turned into a literal killing machine, Valance and Boba Fett actually went on a few missions together, where their comparative skills were put on full display more than once. During each mission, it was clear that the two were more-or-less equally matched, though Boba Fett did have some key advantages over Valance, including and especially when it came to Valance’s conscience. Boba Fett is a loner, has been pretty much since he watched his father die in Episode II, and he doesn’t care what happens to those he works with, so long as he comes out on top. Valance does not share that sentiment, as he’s willing to put his life on the line for those he cares about, which naturally means he’s far more likely to die on any given mission than Boba Fett, who consistently looks out for himself over all others. However, now that he’s a pure killing machine, Valance shares Boba Fett’s general apathy while retaining his previously proven skills as a bounty hunter, allowing him to be far better than Boba Fett ever was.
Not only are Valance’s inhibitions completely gone, but the ‘cyborg expert’ the bounty hunters went to also gave him other general upgrades, making him stronger, faster, and smarter than his human form could have ever been. While fans haven’t yet seen this new-and-improved Beilert Valance in action quite yet, they’ll soon learn that this classic Star Wars antihero is the galaxy’s new greatest bounty hunter – sorry Boba Fett.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #39 by Marvel Comics is available October 4, 2023.