Review: Poe Dameron #3

WHAT’S IN THE GIANT GLOWING EGG? HOW COOL CAN JESSICA PAVA BE? IS BB-8 THE ACTUAL BEST? Poe Dameron #3 answers all of these and more as Poe faces off against Agent Terex and Black Squadron has to fly like bats out of hell against some First Order TIE fighters.

The first part of the story comes to a close far sooner than I expected but I like that it doesn’t get dragged out. Soule knows how to tell a tight story and doesn’t make things go on and on just to fill page space. All of those questions that I started this review out with are answered and more. The short, non-spoilery answers to those questions are: 1) Something weird, 2) VERY, and 3) Obviously! One of the best things about Soule’s story here is how he’s able to work little character details in almost seamlessly. We learn more about Snap and Karé and Jess and yet none of it feels forced.

The other best part of the story is definitely Agent Terex. The creators come up with a creative yet plausible way to potentially keep him around for stories to come. A good villain can be worth their weight in gold and Terex definitely has lasting potential.

It’s always worth mentioning how lovely and fun Noto’s artwork is. Without it, Terex wouldn’t have the same flair and Poe wouldn’t have quite the same charm. Even the adorableness of BB-8 jumps right off the page.

Poe Dameron continues to be a decidedly fun read and certainly worth your time. Next month, the hunt for Lor San Tekka continues and they head to prison… because that always goes well.

Poe Dameron #3: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Review: Poe Dameron #2

poe dameron cover 2Poe Dameron #2 is, without a doubt, more delightful than it has any right to be. If you thought that Charles Soule and Phil Noto did a good job with the first issue than oh baby, strap yourself in because this next one is going to be F U N.

In an interview, Soule mentioned that this first story is “straight-up weird, ‘70s sci-fi” and that vibe definitely comes through nice and strong in Issue #2. The stand out is Agent Terex who is so delightfully evil that he could be a Bond villain and I mean that in the most positive way possible. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire time I was reading the issue. Terex is one of those larger than life characters who just makes you want to punch him in the face and that’s if Phasma doesn’t do it first. I honestly think that I’ll be very disappointed if Terex dies in this arc because I could happily read stories about him for dozens of issues to come.

This is a comic about Poe Dameron though and he’s not forgotten. After all, the First Order is trying to find him. This is definitely Terex’s issue in the spotlight but Soule and Noto don’t neglect Black Squadron. They get their chance to contribute to the mission and even have to work with very unclear parameters. Bless L’ulo and his A-Wing and his glee for life. That’s another thing that makes this series so great: it’s fun because our pilots are having fun. Even in dire situations, their love for flying just leaps right off the page.

One of the best things about the state of Star Wars right now is how the comics and books are really starting to fill in the galactic gaps in the years before The Force Awakens. Between Bloodline yesterday and this issue today, we’re starting to get a much better picture of the canon galaxy.

Also. Those flametroopers with their jetpacks. THOSE JETPACKS. They are as delightful as Terrax.

Delightful is my word for this issue. Had you gotten the memo yet?

Review: Poe Dameron #1

Less than a year ago, we had the wonderful Heather Antos, Assistant Editor for the Marvel Star Wars comics, on the Tosche Station podcast and we maaaaay have begged a little for an X-Wing/Rogue Squadron comic. And we weren’t alone in really hoping to see more stories focused on X-Wing pilots in the new canon.  A few months ago, we learned that Poe Dameron was getting his own series. I’ll be honest with you all: when Marvel announced this book, I was mostly excited but also a tiny bit hesitant. I’ve been a huge fan of Charles Soule’s work in the Star Wars universe thus far and Phil Noto’s art is always lovely but I wasn’t quite sure if it was possible for someone to that find that same vibe that made Stackpole and Allston’s pilot books so good.

I shouldn’t have worried. Not for a minute.

Poe Dameron #1 has a little bit of everything. It has the assembling of the squad. It has some fun flying action. It has BB-8 being adorable. It has Leia Organa being the badass General that she is. It brings in pilots we already know. And it has Poe calling BB-8 buddy. What else could you want?

I don’t want to overhype this book but I also want to strongly encourage everyone to go pick it up today. This is absolutely the book that so many of us have been hoping for and I’m so glad that it’s finally here. Poe Dameron is in the hands of a very strong creative team and I absolutely can’t wait to see where the hunt for Lor San Tekka takes us and I definitely can’t wait to fall even more in love with this new group of pilots.

New Poe Dameron comic coming in April!

USA Today announced yesterday that a Poe Dameron ongoing, written by Charles Soule and art by Phil Noto, will begin in April. And there was much rejoicing at Tosche Station! It’s described as a Mission: Impossible style story, with Poe on his mission to find Lor San Tekka, and will feature BB-8 and some of the other X-wing pilots we saw in The Force Awakens. Since it’s an ongoing, can we expect to see the story go past the events of TFA?

(In case you were wondering, yes, this is the way to get Nanci interested in subscribing to an ongoing comics series.)

Boys with Big Hearts

Easily the best thing about this new Star Wars trilogy is our new hero, Rey, and the praise for both her and Daisy Ridley is flooding in. While not the straight-up leads of the film, the rest of the new trio, Finn and Poe, are almost just as great. (Almost.) The Force Awakens is headed by three amazing newbies, each of which a character for young kids to look up to and want to emulate.

Sure, Rey is a hero for all genders, but let’s not kid ourselves: children aren’t stupid. Little girls notice the distinct lack of leading ladies in cool roles, and Rey is someone that they can finally pretend to be in the playground without having to be “Ara, daughter of Aragorn”. She is finally theirs. 

Everyone can love her and look up to her, but she is most of all for all those little girls who have been needing a girl leading Star Wars since forever ago. That, of course, is a post for another time.

Finn and Poe, similarly, are heroes for everyone of any gender, but they are also wonderful examples for young boys to emulate. Where Poe could have been a Han or Anakin-esque cocky pilot with a little too much arrogance, he is instead a genuinely, confidently sweet guy. Finn, raised as a Stormtrooper in the First Order, is similarly sweet, with a big heart and an overflow of empathy. Continue reading

I want to fall in love again.

poeAll I want from The Force Awakens is to fall in love again.

The first time I saw A New Hope, I fell in love. Not with the film itself, or the Star Wars universe, or even the Battle of Yavin. I fell in love with the characters. I wanted to be like Princess Leia. I loved Han and Chewie’s friendship. I loved the bickering droids. I even loved how evil Vader and Tarkin were. Most of all, I loved Luke Skywalker.

I still love Luke, and the promise of Luke in TFA, even the most miniscule appearance, has me absolutely giddy. I have my theories about what he’s been up to in the galaxy, but I’m trying to go into the film with a clean slate. I’m not expecting him to have children, or to have trained Jedi, or to still be in contact with his friends and family. Basically, all of my worst fears about TFA. However, I have hope that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan will give us a more interesting story for Luke than Obi-Wan 2.0.

But this column isn’t about Luke Skywalker. This column is about falling in love with a new set of characters. I already have attachments Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron, and I don’t even know them yet. I already want to give Kylo Ren a big noogie. Captain Phasma already scares the bejeesus out of me. I want to know more about Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke. And General Hux gives me very confusing feelings. All in all, I’m already way more invested in these characters than I was during the prequels–and I like the prequels.

I’m excited to meet all the new characters, yes, but one of them stands above the rest: Poe Dameron. Yes, I find Oscar Isaac painfully attractive. Yes, I have a thing for X-wing pilots. Yes, I loved seeing his parents in Shattered Empire. It was kind of inevitable that I’d fall in love with Poe before even seeing TFA.

Everything we learn about Poe makes me like him more and more. He’s got a cocky streak to him, which is typical for pilots in the Star Wars universe. Unlike Han he’s extremely dedicated to the Resistance, and he’s served the Republic his entire life. I find that sort of dedication extremely appealing in characters–probably one of the reasons I love Wedge Antilles so much. We know Poe is so dedicated to the Resistance that General Organa herself chose to send him on some important mission. From the trailers, we also know that things don’t go so well for him, but I’m hoping his resilience sees him through, just like with Leia.

I relate to entertainment most when there’s a character I really connect with. In the Original Trilogy, it’s Luke Skywalker. In The Hunger Games, it’s Peeta. In Mageworlds, it’s Beka and Jessan. In Legends, it’s Mara Jade. I’m hoping that, with the Sequel Trilogy, my love affair with Poe Dameron is solidified. Not only Poe, but I’m hoping to meet a whole bunch of new characters I fall in love with.

And if Luke Skywalker swoops in and saves the day, well, I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.