Star Wars: Poe Dameron Issue 1
Writer – Charles Soule
Artist – Phil Noto
Publisher – Marvel
Release Date – 04/06/2016
Ever since Marvel acquired the rights to Star Wars comics again, they have consistently offered quality ongoing and mini series’. With the release of Poe Dameron #1, their newest ongoing series and a replacement for the Kanan comic, that trend continues.
Starting in medias res, we join the “best pilot in the Resistance” as he races through a collapsing tunnel before jumping back to discover that he is on a very important mission. In fact its the same mission that Poe is undertaking in the opening of The Force Awakens. Leia wants to find Luke and to do that, Poe must find Lor San Tekka. Putting together the best X-Wing pilots he can find, Black Squadron is formed and they set off. But after discovering Tekka’s last known location, their mission suddenly gets much more complicated.
This first issue does an excellent job of setting up this new team of pilots and starting them on their journey. It is great fun to recognize some familiar faces while being introduced to some new ones. We get to see more of the trust that Leia has in Poe’s abilities through her brief cameo as well as finding out that the journey Poe takes to get to the opening of TFA will be no easy matter. I can easily see Marvel setting up the canon universe’s new Rogue Squadron here.
The only negative I can think of is the story hints that these events take place very close to episode 7. With more then 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, I would have liked to have seen Poe’s earlier adventures. However, Marvel is doing a fantastic job filling in the relatively short gap between Episode 4 and 5, so they have my trust that these creators can give us the goods here as well.
Always a difficult topic because art is so subjective. To me, this is the comics weakest element. The scenes of ships flying are excellent, but I was not a fan of the character designs, especially up close. This particularly stood out in the scenes with Leia and Poe. Almost as if they were drawn at a separate time from the rest of the story. The character art is most reminiscent of the photorealism of the first Star Wars ongoing series arc, but then adding too many extra lines. In fact, I think its most similar to the Chewbacca miniseries, which makes sense since it is the same artist. I didn’t care for that art style either, but some do.
That being said, the action was easy to follow. The panels all had a flow and it was easy to tell where the characters were in relation to the scene. While it wasn’t an artistic choice that I found as enjoyable, it also did not detract from the story.
Marvel continues it’s streak of quality Star Wars comics. Poe Dameron #1 is an excellent introduction to what’s sure to be an exciting series. X-Wing pilots have long been a fan favorite of Star Wars fans, so getting to see more stories about them is very exciting. My only hope is that once they conclude this arc, we will see more stories of Black Squadron outside of the lead up to The Force Awakens.