It would not be an exaggeration to say that Poe Dameron #23 had me flipping each page as anxiously as I might watch a dogfight in one of the films. It feels like a strange thing to say because we know that Poe’s going to make it out okay and we know that Lor San Tekka has to survive to hide on Jakku and yet I found myself consistently worried about both of them and, weirdly enough, Terex.
Let’s start from the top. When last we saw Poe, Commander Malarus who is, without a doubt, completely out of her mind, had just commandeered his x-wing. There’s just something about Poe that seems to infuriate his First Order opponents beyond their ability to think rationally. Malarus was just… Honestly, I can’t say that she’s been my favorite villain in this book. That honor still goes to Agent Terex who has really seen better days but who is also doing whatever he can to get control of his mind back. (Who knew that the riot batons came in miniature sizes?)
Poe, on the other hand, does some pretty fantastic flying in an unfamiliar ship but it has consequences that are, shall we say, adding to the feel that we’re rapidly approaching the events of The Force Awakens in this comic. On the one hand, it’s helping build the excitement but on the other, it’s a bit of a bummer because I’d love to see so much more of the Resistance in this book especially now that the Tico sisters are likely fair game. Also, precisely how much money does Leia have? Is she funding this entire Resistance out of her own bank accounts? And if so… daaaaang House Organa was loaded!
Poe Dameron #23 is a definite page-turner and I’m very anxious to see how things go in #24 especially after those last few pages.
Poe Dameron #23: Charles Soule/Writer, Angel Unzueta/Artist, Arif Prianto/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
After last issue’s emotional tribute to both L’ulo and Carrie Fisher, Black Squadron moves onward because the Resistance can never afford to remain still for too long. After all, they’re beginning to run critically low on supplies, including fuel. Leia’s gotten some smuggler names from Han but someone seems to systematically be taking them out. Unsurprisingly, she turns to Black Squadron to help protect this latest fuel vessel. Also unsurprisingly… oh yeah the First Order is totally involved.
Poe Dameron #15 feels like a soft reset for the series. While art duties may have shifted to Ange Unzueta last issue, this issue still feels more like the start of something new. Terex is still working for the First Order but he’s not quite the same threat that he once was. Meanwhile, Black Squadron has to find a way to move forward in the wake of the loss of one of their own. On the surface, supplies and logistics might not seem like the most exciting story choice but I rather like it because it helps make the Resistance feel more real. They don’t have infinite funds and people within the New Republic can only do so much to help them.
A few other notes:
- I sincerely hope that someone nerdier than me takes the time to translate the names of all the smugglers from Aurebesh.
I like that the smuggler captain distinctly looks not-human.
The lack of fuel thing is totally going to turn into a plot point.
- Poe Dameron #15 continues to live up to the feel of the series and would be a great jumping on point for anyone new to the series.
Poe Dameron #15: Charles Soule/Writer, Angel Unzueta/Artist, Arif Prianto/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Let’s get something out of the way: I’m cranky about reading this issue because it’s not the next part of Vader Down. I’m so on board with that crossover event that this issue makes me sigh a little because it’s not part of it. Star Wars Annual #1 by Kieron Gillen and Angel Unzueta tells the tale of a Rebel spy named Eneb Ray who is keep undercover on Coruscant.
The nice thing is that this story can stand entirely on its own. Leia makes an appearance via hologram but that’s the only tie into the main book. That’s definitely not a flaw though. Every mission can’t involve our usual favorite heroes and Gillen does a reeeeeally good job of making Eneb Ray someone distinct. In the past, it has sometimes felt like Rebels have fallen too squarely into one of two characters: the good and the kinda corrupt. Eneb feels painfully real with how willing he is to do what has to be done. Personality-wise, he actually comes off as more of an Imperial based upon previous stereotypes. Point is, it’s a nice change even if everyone might not like it.
There is one other familiar character, however, who makes an appearance and that should be no surprise if you, y’know, look at the cover. I won’t spoil it for you but it’s a very well done use of Palpatine that follows in the steps of Lords of the Sith and strengths fans appreciation for what a damn smart bad guy he is.
Is Star Wars Annual #1 necessary reading? Probably not but it’s an interesting, contained story. If nothing else, it’s something to take your mind off the painfully long wait for The Force Awakens. 😉