He hasn’t gotten any less busy since the last time we chatted but Charles Soule was kind enough to sit down with me after the big Marvel panel at Star Wars Celebration last week. We talked about his relatively recently announced Darth Vader book and his continuing work on Poe Dameron including a very in depth look at today’s issue.
Warning! This interview contains spoilers for Poe Dameron #13 and I mean major spoilers. They are all in the back half of the interview so you can safely read until the first mention of the Poe book. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bria for Tosche Station: So you still haven’t talked them into giving you a Palpatine book then? Just a Vader one?
Charles Soule: Yeah but a Vader book is by definition almost a Palpatine book at the same time. They’re still very, very intertwined. The story that I’m telling in the Vader book has Palpatine as the only point of connection that Vader has left anymore. He’s the only person he can turn to for any sort of advice or guidance. His physicality is completely different and completely changed. He has no anchor point except Palpatine, which Palpatine of course knows and realizes and uses to manipulate Vader further in the great tragedy that is Darth Vader’s life. Continue reading →
Thirteen might be an unlucky number for some but it’s definitely a lucky one as far as the Poe Dameron comic is concerned. In fact, this just might be one of the best issues of the comics thus far. There’s action, there’s humor, there’s comradeship, and droids get stuff done. In short, it’s never been clearer that this comic book is one of the spiritual successors to the X-Wing books from Legends and around here? That’s a very high compliment.
Poe Dameron: Still in a lot of trouble
Poe Dameron: Friend to droids everywhere
Poe Dameron: Making all this madness look gooooood
Those are just three of the taglines I’m considering for this month’s issue of Poe Dameron. Also in the running are “We don’t deserve these droids” and “Why didn’t we get to see BB-8 hanging out with Chopper on the page since that clearly happened at some point?”
Speaking of droids, BB-8 may continue to be the best and a delight but Threepio really comes in with a clutch move this issue. I rag on him a lot but, well, Leia made him her spymaster for a reason. He has his uses for more than just bantering with Artoo and driving those around him insane. Way to go, Goldenrod! On a related note, all of BB-8’s beeps and boops this issue are particularly fun and delightful especially when he’s *ahem* taking a cue from Chopper in terms of being a good droid teammate. Honestly, the droids really are the MVPs this issue. The timing is ironic given the most recent Rebels episode.
The issue has a bit of a chaotic feel to it but that’s a good thing as everything is rapidly coming to its conclusion. Honestly, I’m not sure that Terex is going to make it out alive and I’m a bit worried about Oddy. Heck, I’d be worried about Poe too if we didn’t know he makes it to Jakku. (It’s totally fine if N1-ZX gets disintegrated though.)
I am absolutely looking forward to seeing how this arc ends! It’ll be such a lovely post-Celebration present for those of us attending.
Poe Dameron #12: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Okay can we please start by discussing how drop dead gorgeous this cover is? Phil Noto is rarely anything but excellent but this is another level. I want this framed on my wall.
But about the actual content of the issue… Oh Terex. You’re certainly not going to win First Order Officer of the year and frankly, I’m increasingly concerned about your contining existence. (It’s shocking that Phasma hasn’t broken his spine already.) That said, Charles Soule is presenting us with an interesting comparison with our two sides. Leia formed the Resistance because the New Republic was blind to the threat and now Terex is using his own private army to strike against the Resistance because the First Order can’t. It’s a thought-provoking contrast especially since the First Order is so focused on….uhhh…order. It’s surprising that they’d bring Terex in at all and now that he’s in and pushing back so strongly against Phasma… how long will he stay a part of the First Order especially if he loses to Poe?
We still don’t know who the spy is for sure and it’s driving me insane! While Poe comes to the same conclusion that I did several issues ago, I have a feeling that there’s going to be a twist. This is comics: there’s always a twist and I can’t wait to read what it is.
Sidebar: If someone doesn’t pull together a Lord-General of the Rancs of Kaddak cotsume soon, I’m going to be very disappointed.
Poe Dameron #11: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Another month, another issue of the ever delightful Poe Dameron book by Charles Soule and Phil Noto! This is the arc of the droids and the backstory and we keep getting more each time so let’s get right to it.
It’s been said before on Tosche Station (probably by me multiple times) but having the Story Group around is going a long way towards Star Wars stealing the “it’s all connected!” tagline from the MCU. (It’s cool. They’re all in the Disney family.) Getting to see the Carrion Spike in this book and having its backstory from Tarkin acknowledged in this issue is just really cool and feels like a neat little reward for fans who read everything. At the same time, fans who only read the comics won’t be left feeling lost.
This issue is, per Charles Soule’s Twiter, the last of the Terex backstory and I have to say that I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. We’ve not only been getting insight to Terex’s earlier days but also the First Order. It makes me curious as to how many other people like Terex (ie: those who are not Imperials who didn’t go into immediate exile together) are a part of the First Order.
Finally, we arrive at the droid part of the plot. (You know… the one that also includes Poe… who this book is about.) Nunzix the droid is hilarious if you’re a fan of droids with sass. I still don’t know how to feel about Threepio the Spymaster because it seems like a spymaster should be better at being subtle but hey! As long as the Resistance gets the information, right?
On the art front, I’d like to publicly thank Phil Noto for drawing that First Order lieutenant with his code cylinders further to the side and upright like back in the days of the Empire instead of in the middle and diagonal like they were in the film. This is much less offensive to the eyes.
Can we have issue #11 yet? I NEED TO KNOW WHO’S THE SPY.
Poe Dameron #10: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Do you remember back in the old days how there was a droid that would essentially shut down if you told him to shut up three times? Yeah, I think Threepio could use one of those protocols. (There was more to it than that but you get my point. Make Threepio shut up!) probably about 80% of the bad things that happen in this issue could have been avoided if Threepio had just been quiet. The other 20% rest on someone shooting Terex back during the Battle of Jakku.
Charles Soule promised us backstory for the dastardly Agent Terex and he’s certainly delivering. What remains to be seen is if this is also definitely backstory for the First Order. I’d love to see the behind the scenes coordination going on between Team Poe, Team Aftermath, the Story Group, and anyone else working on the Battle of Jakku because there are so many moving parts for a giant event that we’ve only briefly seen in Lost Stars. Terex is such a great villain that it’s fantastic to see more of his backstory but I’m more fascinated by the origins of the First Order which are increasingly more complex than I’d originally suspected. The flashbacks are my favorite bits of this arc and I can’t wait to see more!
Switching back to the Resistance, I love Phil Noto’s art on this book! Especially for this issue! The planet feels so real and lived in and is a really great visual tieback to The Force Awakens. It’s a nice reminder of how close in time this comic is to the film. Shout out the Guavian Death Gang! (I wish them no luck on their hunt for hunt for Han Solo.)
Poe Dameron #9 is a solid issue overall but undoubtedly worth it because of the spotlight on Agent Terex regardless of whose name is on the cover.
Poe Dameron #9: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Poe Dameron #8 has a little bit of something for everyone. Sweaty Poe aggressively kicking a punching bag! Adorable BB-8 listening to his angsting and holding out a sweat rag once he’s done! Unexpected Agent Terex backstory! Adorable Oddy getting permission to fly Poe’s X-Wing! AND WHO IS THAT DROID WITH THE RED ARM???
Despite his not-so-restful shore leave time last issue, Poe Dameron is not doing great. He’s increasingly concerned that one of his pilots might be a spy for the First Order; something that’s particularly troubling given that he’s known some of them for a very long time. It’s worrying enough that he doesn’t feel comfortable tapping any of the four for a top-secret mission to rescues one of Threepio’s droid informants. Seeing Poe like this makes me want to just give him a hug (and then find the spy and shake them senseless.)
Just as Charles Soule promised us, we’re going back to Jakku in a flashback to the Battle of Jakku! We finally learn a little more about who Terex is (outside of being fabulous,) where he comes from, and why he’s with the First Order. It’s definitely giving the character more depth and I suspect we’ll only learn more as this arc progresses.
The only downside to this issue is that it’s woefully lacking in other Black Squadron pilots. I’m already missing those kids and hope we’re not going to go an entire story arc without them.
As always, Issue #8 is another solid entry of the Poe Dameron comic and the Agent Terex backstory alone is worth the price of admission.
Poe Dameron #8: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Poe’s flying solo and off on a personal mission to see an old friend! What could possibly go wrong? (A lot of things. So many things.) Come on, buddy: You should know better than to go somewhere in the galaxy and not bring a blaster. That’s, like, Impending Galactic War 101.
As far as standalone issues go, this one really pops out and that’s due in great part to Suralinda, an old Navy-turned-journalist friend of Poe’s. It might say his name on the front of the book but this is definitely her issue to shine. Charles Soule has her go through an entire character arc within the issue that’s incredibly satisfying and completely about her. I sincerely hope we get to see more of Suralinda in the future because she’s too good of a character to leave in one-shot hell.
We don’t get Phil Noto artwork this month but we do get Angel Unzueta with Frank D’Armata on colors which is definitely a change up but not a bad one. I especially like his rendering of General Organa and also his commitment to Poe’s five o’clock shadow. I also love what he did with Suralinda’s character design and costume. (Hey cosplayers: That’d be an awesome project…)
If you’re looking for a good place to jump on to the Poe comic, this is absolutely the time to do so. It’s a fun ride that requires no real backstory and it even brings a whole new meaning to “I can fly anything.” 10/10, I absolutely recommend.
Poe Dameron #7: Charles Soule/Writer, Angel Unzueta/Artist, Frank D’Armata/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Charles Soule for a few minutes at New York Comic Con. Since we last talked at Baltimore Comic Con last year, he’s finished his run on Lando, written the Obi-Wan and Anakin series, and is currently writing the ongoing Poe Dameron series for Marvel Comics. (And that’s in addition to all the other books he writes for Marvel and all his creator owned work.) Needless, to say, he’s stayed busy.
Bria for Tosche Station: Thank you again for talking with me this morning and congratulations on conquering the world of Star Wars Comics.
Charles Soule: It has been an incredibly ride. Doing a series set in Prequel time, doing a series set in Original series time, and new era time? I can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.
TS: I think you might actually be the first person to have written in all three eras in the new canon.
CS: I guess the dream’s achieved. I can retire now. It’s all happened.
TS:I think it was at NYCC last year that the Obi-Wan and Anakin book was announced which I loved by the way. What was it like getting to delve into another era and its characters since before that you’d been working on Lando?
CS: The thing that I really liked about it was that not only was it a Prequel Era story which is sort of unexplored to begin with but it was in the unexplored—no one has written anything between Episode I and Episode II as far as I know other than this.
TS:One or two Legends books but not much.
CS: So it was very cool to be able to look at a time when the Jedi were… they weren’t ascended but they were certainly powerful and their infrastructure was in place and all that. Palpatine was active but hadn’t yet revealed himself as Sidious. The relationship with Anakin was really developing. There were all these really potent, dramatic things I could do with the Obi-Wan series that aren’t available in other parts of the timeline so I was really thrilled to get a chance to take a crack at it.Continue reading →
Look, I know that I’m riding off a BB-8 high in the wake of Dragon Con and that AMAZING panel with his puppeteers but this is TOTALLY BB-8’s issue. I mean yeah fine; the pilots help win too but they definitely would have failed without BB-8 and the other astromechs.
Poe and the rest of Black Squadron are still stuck down on the surface of the prison planet and the odds aren’t looking good… or at least they wouldn’t be looking good if they didn’t have a plan and some very capable astromechs up in the sky. This, by the way, is what really helps capture the spirit of Star Wars. One of my favorite parts of the saga (in the Prequels more so than in the Original Trilogy) was how Artoo would so often go off on his own and save the day. BB-8 is definitely his spiritual successor. How can you not love an awesome little droid like that especially when it emotes so beautifully?
The humans are all right too, I guess. No but actually: Terex is one of my new favorite villains and I’m falling more and more in love with the pilots of Black Squadron. They’re smart, they have a plan, and they seem to genuinely care about each other. Hopefully none of them end up going out in a blaze of glory. I love how Soule and Noto are being given the opportunity to really flesh out these characters we don’t know very much about and how they’re sparingly yet effectively using characters like Phasma and Leia. It’s all just so artistically done.
The Poe Dameron arcs are short but sweet and I am digging this book. Are you reading it yet? You should be because next issue is Poe Dameron’s Day Off!
Poe Dameron #6: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor