Marvel continues to expand the Star Wars universe, this time putting one of the most popular characters from The Force Awakens at the helm of the story; Poe Dameron.
This comic immediately sets itself apart from any of the other Star Wars stories Marvel has put out so far in being the first not to be set in the original trilogy era. This opens up a whole world of storytelling possibilities as the timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, as yet, remains unclear. Although it was perhaps clear to fans that this comic wasn’t going to be the one to answer some of the bigger questions fans have, the decision to make the story a direct prequel to The Force Awakens is perhaps the biggest pitfall the comic suffers. This isn’t to say that there isn’t some great moments in there. The moments shared between Poe and his loyal astromech droid BB-8 are an absolute joy to read. The greatest scene goes to a conversation between Poe and Leia. It establishes quickly Poe’s cocky, confident but likable persona, as well as the hardened resolve of General Leia. The verbal sparring between the two show the trust and respect between the characters, giving a deeper insight into the bond they share on screen in The Force Awakens. It is clear that these character interactions are where writer Charles Soule excels.
Now onto the art. Artist Phil Noto steps boldly into the Star Wars universe; capturing its essence with strong, self assured line work. His ability to capture the likenesses of characters is massively impressive. From panel to panel Poe looks like Poe, Leia looks like Leia, etc. The colours too have an understated beauty, to a degree mirroring the cinematography in J.J. Abrams The Force Awakens. Almost every frame is a stellar piece of art in itself. The art form will not please everyone, with there being such detail and certainty in every frame some could argue there is at times a loss of sense of movement, especially in the flying scenes. The X-Wings don’t appear to be soaring through the panels just as much as they could be. Regardless, it all looks great and is a visual treat.
Poe Dameron marks the beginning of another fine addition to Marvels growing catalog of Star Wars titles, although perhaps not matching the immediate success of earlier entries. With such a competent storytelling team behind it, its clear both Soule and Noto will settle in with the Resistances greatest pilot well. But besides being a small scale prequel to The Force Awakens there has to be more to Poe’s life worth exploring, and hopefully we wont have to wait too long to see what else the pilot has to offer.