Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1 Review

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1
Writer: Charles Soule and Chris Eliopoulos
Art: Phil Noto
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

Hot off the heels of the massive success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Marvel decided to launch a new series featuring one of the stand out characters who didn’t receive much establishment or development, the best fighter pilot in the Resistance, Poe Dameron.

This comic is set not long ago, in a time just before the opening of The Force Awakens.  The New Republic is under threat and General Leia Organa knows that there is one man who can bring peace to the crisis, her brother Luke Skywalker.  However she, nor do anyone else in the Resistance know of his location but someone may, an explorer named Lor San Tekka.  Organa sends Poe Dameron, along with a select squadron of his choice to find Tekka in hopes to discover the location of Luke and bring him back to the fight.

Writer Charles Soule does a solid job in this duet issue in establishing the overall synopsis and status quo for this new on-going series.  It’s going to be featuring not only Dameron but BB8 and his selected squadron, called Black Squadron, on cosmic adventures.  The first story is going to be showing how Poe ended up where we were introduced to him in the opening of the recent blockbuster and it’s well paced.

The Black Squadron seems as if they’re a likable bunch from what we’re presented.  We unfortunately don’t get too much of them but to the issues credit, it keeps its focused on the titled character.  Soule is able to capture the snarky wise cracker that Oscar Isaac was able to convey in the movie.  However theres a similar problem as there was in Soule’s other Star Wars series, Lando.  Both Isaac and Billy D Williams were able to bring charisma to their performances and thats difficult to portray in the written word.  Even with the addition of still images.  Though the scenes between Poe and his partner in crime, BB8 are fun and the conversations between them are enjoyably memorable.

A key element that made this such an anticipating series is the hope to get more of Poe Dameron the character.  It captures the personality but it doesn’t expand on him, which is what this series should be used to do.  Perhaps that’s too much to ask from the debut issue as first issues should be used as a set up for the series but I was thirsty for something new to add to the character’s identity.  Hopefully Soule will use future issues to flesh out the character more.

Artwork in this comic is solely executed by Phil Noto, who is a superb talent.  He does a great job in capturing the likeness of Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, and other characters who were introduced through The Force Awakens.  The details and designs of the cast and settings are solid and the colors are fantastically perfect for the tone of the book.  Unfortunately there is one weakness in Noto’s work and thats conveying motion.  There’s fairly little action in this issue but when it happens it doesn’t flow.  Nowhere is this more blatant then in the opening flying scene.  While the X-Wing looks fantastic, I never once felt as if it were in motion and it comes off as stilted and stagnate.  It’s a problem because the scene comes to a point where it’s a race against time and the art wasn’t able to portray the sense of urgency and tension that the circumstance called for.

Note: This book features a bonus story that is centered on BB8.  It’s enjoyably cute, fun, and the vibe is reminiscent of a Calvin and Hobbes comic.

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1 is a bit of a mixed bag.  Soule gives a solid effort in capturing the memorability that was Poe Dameron but without the charisma of Oscar Isaac, it’s a slight miss.  Noto portrays some eye catchy visuals but the action scenes are missing the feel of motion.  However the chemistry between Poe and BB8 is great, the story is well paced, expertly set up, and intriguing enough to become invested in returning for the second issue.

Score: 3 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach





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