Warning: spoilers ahead for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #7
In Marvel Comics’ ongoing Star Wars: Bounty Hunters series, the main protagonist has done the one thing a bounty hunter should never do: Beilert Valance chose morals over money. Now, the cyborg bounty hunter is doing all he can to protect a high value mark from the most notorious bounty hunters across the galaxy such as Bossk, Boba Fett, and most recently Zuckuss and 4-LOM. Being a cyborg, Valance has a variety of high-tech weaponry at his disposal integrated into his cybernetic systems, including some tech in his palms that allows him to fight very much like Marvel’s own Iron Man.
At the beginning of the series from writer Ethan Sacks and artist Paolo Villanelli, the original bounty that got the attention of the best hunters in all the galaxy was that of the notorious Nakano Lash. Lash had betrayed her team years prior in favor a protecting a target who she pitied: a woman who was pregnant with a child that could unite two of the galaxy’s biggest crime syndicates. Hunters in that team included Bossk, Boba Fett, and Beilert Valance himself (who was once Lash’s protégé). Valance managed to track Lash down before anyone else could, allowing Lash to explain her noble actions. As Fett caused her death, Lash made Valance promise to protect the child, who has grown into a young teen named Cadeliah. Lash had been taking care of Cadeliah since her mother died, and Valance has sworn to do the same. Now, a new bounty has been placed on Valance and Cadeliah, and the notorious Zuckuss and 4-LOM are looking to collect.
Throughout the series, Valance has attempted to use his palm blasters to protect the girl, but more often than not they’ve shorted out due to damage he’s sustained, making them not as effective as he’d like them to be. However, that changes in Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #7 after Valance gets some much needed repairs to his systems. With the heroes seeking refuge with Valance’s former love and the Rebel Alliance, Zuckuss and 4-LOM attacked the Rebels’ outpost with their own squad of reprogrammed battle droids from the Clone Wars era. However, when 4-LOM attacked Valance personally, both of Valance’s palm blasters worked perfectly, making him look everything like Iron Man and his repulsor gauntlets.
While the blasters worked quite well, 4-LOM was somehow still left standing, being incredibly resilient. After some more brawling, Valance managed to orchestrate a ceasefire, offering the hunters a fire ruby given to him by his love in exchange for them pausing the hunt for the girl. They agreed to give Valance a three-day head start before they resumed hunting him once more. As a result, Valance was able to leave the girl in the care of the Rebellion where she’d be safer than she would be with him.
While he’s now on his own, Valance’s cybernetics are back to being fully operational, meaning that his palm blasters should be ready to go at full power when his next fight inevitably occurs. The palm blasters are a pretty unique set of hardware for the Star Wars universe, just like Iron Man’s tech is for Marvel’s. Hopefully, Valance will get some more opportunities to show them in his upcoming Cantina battle.