Join the Resistance with Poe Dameron and Black Squadron
In Charles Soule’s Poe Dameron ongoing comic, we get to see the Resistance Pilot’s adventures before we see him in The Force Awakens. We also get to meet the rest of Poe’s squadron and a new First Order baddie. So strap yourselves in…
In Black Squadron, General Organa tasks Poe and his squadron with finding the long lost Lor San Tekka in the hope that he can help her find Luke. Black Squadron consists of four other pilots besides Poe: veteran flyers Termmin “Snap” Wexley and L’ulo L’ampara and female pilots Kare Kun and Jessika Pava. Together they fly to Lor San Tekka’s last known location hoping someone know where he went next. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t the ones looking for San Tekka. The First Order, led by Agent Terrex of the Security Bureau, are hot on their tail. Terrex always seems to be one step ahead of them. Poe and the rest of Black Squadron are in a race against time to find San Tekka first.
I really like that the squadron has two women in it. More female fighter pilots for the win! Terrex is a great new villain. He’s cunning, manipulative, and a great foil for Poe. Snap Wexley had such a brief appearance in The Force Awakens, and it’s a great expansion on his character to see him here. There is also a great reference to the Wizard of Oz at one point that I challenge you not to chuckle at.
The Gathering Storm
Poe knows that someone betrayed his team. It’s the only explanation as to why Agent Terex is always one step ahead of them. He just doesn’t know who it could be. Tasked with retrieving one of C-3PO’s droid contacts, he takes his mechanic Oddy Muva with him to Kaddak. Of course, Terex shows up around the same time and all hell breaks loose as they try to escape with the droids. It’s only then that Poe realizes who the spy among his comrades is.
C-3PO as a Resistance spymaster is just too funny if you ask me. He isn’t exactly known for keeping his mouth shut. But it seems to work here and give us many hilarious moments. During the battle we are treated to an appearance by a fan favorite character from the Aftermath books that I was surprised to see. Now I’m going to have to read those books for sure. Also, Agent Terex’s past going back to the Battle of Jakku is revealed in this volume. That story alone would make for a good read if done as a novella. You’ll have to read the comic to find out who the spy is, but I will say that they have a pretty understandable reason for betraying Poe that will pull at your heartstrings.
Reeling from the betrayal of their friend and the loss of their comrade, Black Squadron goes on a mission to retrieve fuel from one of Han Solo’s smuggling contacts. Of course, the First Order can’t allow that. The team soon learns that retrieving their fuel will be easier said than done when they discover the fuel ship is rigged to blow in a plot line reminiscent of the movie Speed. They have to find a way to prevent that and fight off the First Order fast, or risk destroying the whole base on D’qar.
Once they are back at base, the squadron splits up for separate missions. The ladies accompany Poe’s old friend from his New Republic military days, the journalist Suralinda Javos, on a mission to find concrete proof of what the First Order is up to to show the people of the New Republic. Meahwhile, Poe and Snap go on a journey to find Oddy and discover why he betrayed them. When both groups are captured they get some unlikely help just in time and walk away with a story for Suralinda.
This volume gave us a great new character in Suralinda. You never know just what she’s up to, or if she’s just out for herself. I didn’t know whether to hate her, or love her and kept switching back and forth between the two. It also brought Oddy’s story full circle as we learn the full reason for his betrayal and get to see him set things right. We also get a little more depth to Terex’s character as he struggles with his new position and whether or not to do the right thing.
Author and Artist Files
Charles Soule previously penned the Lando and Obi-Wan and Anakin miniseries comics for Marvel. Both of those were great additions to the Star Wars cannon with Obi-Wan and Anakin being my favorite and one I really wished had continued. He does a great job here of giving Poe a backstory and adding new and exciting characters to the story. Each of the pilots of Black Squadron is shown to have a distinct and separate personality and bits of their past are slowly revealed as the story unfolds. Poe Dameron is one of the best Star Wars comics Marvel is putting out right now and Soule has done a fantastic job of bringing the story to life.
Phil Noto illustrates volumes one and two, and as I’ve previously stated in another article I really enjoy his style. I like his use of muted colors and he does a fabulous job of capturing the character’s, or should I say actor’s, mannerisms. I was shocked to see the change in artist for volume three to Angel Uzueta because the cover was still clearly Noto’s art. While I don’t dislike their work, I don’t like how Poe’s face looks. He looks older than he should to me. However, once I got used to the change, I grew to like the artwork just as much as I do Noto’s who continues to be the cover artist.
If you are a fan of the prequel trilogy thus far, or just a Poe fanboy or fangirl, then you should be reading this comic. You can pick it up at your local comic shop or check out the collected editions at your local library. I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed in the story. I for one can’t wait for the next volume.
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