I am the editor in chief of a science fiction-oriented website, and I absolutely loved this comic. In order to give it the recognition it deserves, I'm posting my site's review of issue #1 of this trade below. Do know that the issues in the rest of the trade uphold the quality evident in the first. If you love Star Wars, and especially if you love Boba Fett, you will love Star Wars: Blood Ties. My review of issue #1:
Star Wars: Blood Ties is based on an interesting premise -- the observation that in the Star Wars universe, "Wars have been fought, governments have fallen, or tragedy has been averted because of one character's blood relation with another." This series takes that approach to analyzing Jango and Boba Fett. This is a father/clone relationship that definitely has its peculiarities and that can serve not only to reveal some of who the two characters are as they relate to the rest of the Star Wars canon but also how strongly even the most cold-blooded individuals can feel a blood bond with another. This debut issue kicks things off with Count Dooku sending the duo on what seems to be a generic assassination job, but it ends with perhaps the only kind of twist that could ever trip up the infamous Jango.
Writer Tom Taylor does a superb job of making Jango's tough love on Boba never feel like anything other than love (though Jango would probably never admit that himself). Even when he straps a jetpack on Boba, sprays him with a scent that attracts a monstrous dragon-like creature, orders him to take one of its teeth, and goes outside the cave to wait on him to complete the task, it genuinely feels like he is indeed doing what he believes is best for the boy (in this case, building his strength and courage). Part of the convincingness of Jango's concern for him lies in simple dialogue. Instead of simply spraying Boba and telling him to bring back a tooth, he spends a moment explaining what the creature is and what kind of food it eats, almost like it is his own skewed way of educating the child. When the monster comes out and Jango yells the unnecessary "Go!" the attempt at encouragement subtly demonstrates a feeling of concern. This may be an strange relationship, but there is never a question that the care is there.
Chris Scalf's art is not only amazing (as it generally is) but also does just as much as the writing in the way of revealing Jango's feelings for Boba, and in equally subtle ways. I challenge anyone to look at the image of Jango kneeling and securing his jetpack onto the boy and try to say it doesn't immediately look like a parent making sure their child is ready for school. Boba's facial expressions say more than dialogue ever could, with him in this same opening scene appearing alternatingly suspicious and curious before looking as though he feels downright betrayed. If the chemistry between Taylor and Scalf remains this good throughout the series, this could turn out to be one of the better Fett tales of recent time.
Blood Ties is off to a great start. This is one of those Expanded Universe stories that feels like it was genuinely written to tell a compelling story, not simply to expand upon or illuminate corners of the Star Wars universe. Aside from establishing a moving and believable relationship between the two main characters, Taylor has crafted a story that seems to be prepared to expand its theme beyond the two in a way that can be equally rewarding. Jango and, especially, Boba Fett are characters that any Star Wars lover with half an ability to tell a story wants to get their hands on. So far, I'm glad it's this creative team that has them because they are treating the Fetts with the respect they deserve.