In the first issue of this much anticipated series, Poe Dameron sets off on a dangerous quest that set the events of The Force Awakens into motion. Is it good?
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1 (Marvel Comics)
The familiar yellow scroll of the Star Wars universe sets up where in the timeline this takes place: just before the events of The Force Awakens. General Leia Organa has recruited Poe Dameron, the best pilot in the galaxy, for an incredibly important mission: to get information to help find Luke Skywalker before the First Order does. But Poe won’t be alone on this mission; not only is he accompanied by his trusty droid BB-8, but also with his hand-picked Black Squadron.
Their first foray out is to find Lor San Tekka, an explorer specializing in Jedi ruins and sacred sites. He may hold the key to finding Luke. But finding Lor turns out to be more complicated and dangerous than they expected, especially with the First Order hot on their tail.
Is It Good?
First, I have to admit my biases for this book, because my anticipation could not have been higher when it was first announced. Not only is it a tie-in to a movie I loved, but Phil Noto is hands-down my favorite comic artist, and Charles Soule is the brilliant mind behind one of the best comic series of the past few years, She-Hulk. So yeah, my expectations were set very very high.
And overall, the book came very close to meeting them. The art is outstanding – Noto’s strength is in his faces and his use of perspective.
There’s a wonderful cinematic quality to his work that lends itself perfectly to a movie tie-in, and both the flight sequences and the more intimate conversations were equally served by his skill. I also love his use of color; it fits perfectly with what we are used to seeing on screen with his own take on new material.
The writing wasn’t quite as successful, mostly because of first issue setup that had to be done. The story is intriguing, especially because we know where Poe is going to end up from the film, but have no idea how he is going to get there. I’m very interested in the Black Squadron and can’t wait to see more of them as the story progresses. The pacing is excellent, with a nice mix of action and dialog to keep things moving.
But the strongest part of the book is Poe himself (which is good since it’s called Poe Dameron). He was the breakout character for me from The Force Awakens, and was a major part of why I was so excited to read this book. And I was not disappointed. Soule captures his character and voice so well, from his wisecracking and cockiness, to his relationship with BB-8.
I also really enjoyed the bonus comic at the end of the book by Chris Eliopoulous and Jordie Bellaire. The art style homage to Calvin and Hobbes perfectly fit the troublemaking BB-8 trying his hand at matchmaking, and it was a perfect addendum to a rated T book.
The entire team does a great job of keeping the book interesting and friendly to an audience skewing younger. I have a feeling a lot of kids will pick up this book and I think it will satisfy them as much as adults. I think the subsequent issues can only get better as it can expand beyond establishing the story and get into the meat of it.
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