With the release of The Last Jedi trailer, Star Wars is about all I can think about lately. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a film. Honestly, it was probably waiting for The Force Awakens.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Anyway…Poe Dameron! This comic is something I desperately need right now. It’s helping sate my appetite for all things Star Wars and make the wait for The Last Jedi not so painful. So let’s see how issue #13 is!
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Marvel’s synopsis (you can also check out our preview):
It’s Terex’s army versus Black Squadron — and Black Squadron is outnumbered! Plus, Poe is stranded with only a battle-reluctant commando droid between him and his enemies. Snap Wexley may have a trick or two up his sleeve to help Black Leader fight!
There are comic book artists out there you’ll encounter and think “Hey that’s awesome! This is fantastic!” but eventually the charm wears off and you don’t find yourself as excited as you once were when viewing their work. Phil Noto is not one of those artists. The cover art is, for lack of more elegant phrasing, freaking awesome. Noto has put his trademark retro style masterfully on display, blending Poe in his X-wing flight suit, a First Order trooper’s armor and outer space all into one epic cover image. This is a comic book cover that has me excited to read the story before I’ve even started it.
Last issue left us with quite a few balls in the air and a confrontation that appears to have finally reached its zenith. Black Squadron finds itself in need of a rescue while trying to conduct one. Poe has lost all of his allies and a dear companion in his attempts to allude Terex and the Ranc gang, leaving him alone with the commando droid N1-ZX who refuses to fight due to self-preservation programming.
Thankfully for Poe a member of Black Squadron has a trick up their sleeve to tip the odds in his favor. Soule had me laughing out loud a few times while reading this issue and it was due entirely to a character that I really hadn’t enjoyed that much up to this point in the story. The dialogue line that really stuck out here as my favorite: “Meat paste! So much lovely meat paste!”
Black Squadron arrives to a dire situation for Poe and themselves. As we saw in the previous issues they’re heavily outnumbered. To make matters worse, the rescue mission quickly becomes even more complicated, with new allies in need of a rescue. Soule did a nice job of tying three different story elements together in the space battle without detracting from what’s happening with Poe on the ground. The scenario for Black Squadron evolved twice and never dropped in quality or believability–I was heavily invested from start to finish.
There’s a lot going on in this story and I didn’t think I’d welcome more players to the game, but Soule surprised me several times in this issue, one of those surprises being a new player in the game, the First Order. With their appearance I expected things to go a very specific way for Poe and friends. How very wrong I was.
This issue is a crazy melee of nonstop action, dark humor and unexpected appearances. There’s a space battle, pirates, sabotage, droids, heroes, villains and plenty of surprises, both good and bad. Charles Soule and Phil Noto’s partnership has created a damn near perfect Star Wars story. This is the Star Wars comic every fan should be reading.
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