I was not entirely sold on the concept for this book, because after the mixed bag that was Shattered Empire, I was hoping we would at least get SOME flashbacks or a bit of exposition on Poe Dameron’s story- not just a bit of “forced” peril for a character we know good and well goes on to survive whatever problems he faces in this book. Add in some gorgeous artwork, done by Phil Noto (who did covers and art on the Chewbacca miniseries I enjoyed) and you get a bit of a confusing book to try and figure out, and after only two issues!
Today (May the Fourth) is Star Wars day, and for once my son elected NOT to watch The Force Awakens, and went back to his “old staple” Return of the Jedi. So I didn’t get to enjoy Oscar Issac’s performance, but I was instead treated to the sequel to the Death Star and the prequel to the Starkiller Base. Do the Imperials only know how to make big, showy monstrosities that are untenable and are basically engineered to fail? Because that is how it seems. But there are no Death Stars or Starkiller Bases in this book, just a giant, phosphorescent egg, First Order Troopers with jetpacks (super awesome!) and a new baddie who used to be a Trooper, but got better? And now is a smuggler/assassin/First Order Operative?!?
AND THAT OPERATIVE TAKES ORDERS FROM CAPTAIN PHASMA!?!?!? Okay, whoops- probably should have put **SPOILERS** around that one, but c’mon- we are all glad to see her get some more time in the spotlight, and not in the trash compactor. I really didn’t like the whole “we’re trapped here” with Poe and the Agent Terex, because it lead to the inevitable moment at the end of the issue **SPOILERS** (there, I caught that one) where he turns the tables in a very Watchmen like fashion, to say Terex isn’t trapped with Poe, but it is in fact Poe, who is trapped with Terex. Meh.
The jump pack Troopers were a gorgeous visual (one that another comic book this week is utilizing, and is a different sci-fi major franchise- that rhymes with “Schmar Schrek” in a book that sounds like “Schmanifest Schmestiny”) and I wish we got more of that and less jokey, pun-laden dialogue from Terex. I had hoped he would be a bit more charismatic than smarmy, but he is just that.
The visuals in this book are really great- the page where Poe outlines his (incorrect) assumption that he holds the high ground is just gorgeous. Seeing all the panels depicting different scenes, all of them in crescent shaped panels, rotating around a central, circular panel- wow! Just great looking stuff there.
The cover reveal for next issue shows the giant blue egg thing glowing and cracking, and Poe reunited with his squad, so obviously things go according to his plan, and everything works out fine- Poe ends up on Jakku and we can let J.J.’s story take it from there. I would have liked more from this book in two issues than what we got (most of what we got was some really gorgeous visuals- let Phil Noto draw whatever Star Wars stories he wants) I just wish there was something dynamic, interesting or engaging about Poe Dameron in this book. He is a brash, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants pilot, but IMMEDIATELY gives up his only advantage when Terex threatens the big blue egg. The then doesn’t even give his squadron good instructions, AND taunts the bad guy who is holding him at a great disadvantage. Is this all Poe knows? To talk tough, bumble your way through things, and hope one of the disaffected space-Hitler youths defect and ask you to fly them away from whatever certain doom awaits you?
So- overall, for my main book to read on this, Star Wars Day, I can safely say I am a bit disappointed. I want more from this character and his book, but I can hope that things will turn around for Poe (and for me, the reader) soon, because obviously things will progress from here and move themselves along to a new locale with new innocent bystanders for Poe to expose to First Order attacks, then to immediately give them up and “save them” only to brashly call out the “flaw” in the First Order’s offensive, which isn’t anything close to accurate.
I am still going to continue to read this book, but I am fairly certain that when I come back for the next issue, I will be doing so with a hearty bit of reservation and I will be reading it critically- for better or for worse on this title.