Poe Dameron #1

Poe Dameron #1

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Phil Noto

Poe Dameron #1 kicks off a new Star Wars comic series starring the best pilot in the galaxy and his scene stealing droid BB-8. With characters like Poe and BB-8, you would think it would be hard to get this one wrong. Yet I can’t help but feel that this was a very slow start for a series with a lot of potential. Poe is sent by General Organa to find Lor San Tekka and the map to Skywalker. Yet instead of finding San Tekka, Poe finds an egg worshipping cult and the First Order. It’s…different.

The events of the comic are set before The Force Awakens. Poe has already joined the Resistance, but they haven’t found Lor San Tekka yet. Poe puts together Black Squadron as they go off to a remote world in search of Lor San Tekka’s last known location. It leads them to a weird, paranoid cult that worships a big, blue egg. They think it holds their savior and that it’s their duty to protect it. As such, they’re jumpy to attack Poe and reluctant to tell him where Lor San Tekka went. Regardless, it all ends with a First Order ambush as they tracked Poe to the planet.

First off, the blue egg cult isn’t the most awe inspiring story idea. I mean, it’s an egg. Of all the things you could come up with to put in Star Wars as the center of some weird religion, an egg is an odd choice and not the most exciting. The egg cult are very much portrayed as twitching looney toons as they ramble on about their egg and constantly point their guns at Poe. Aside from that, we get three pages devoted to Poe and Leia talking. Nothing against Leia, but three pages of solid talking in a comic is not a great way to keep things exciting. On the plus side, there was one good line about Lor San Tekka that actually added a bit to the mythos. As conveyed by Leia…

“Lor San Tekka. An explorer. He’s been all over the galaxy–there’s not a sacred site or Jedi ruin he hasn’t seen. He’s supposed to be dead, but this holovid you intercepted shows him alive, and older than the last time I saw him. He could still be out there, and if he is, he’s our best hope for finding Luke.”

It’s a good line and probably the best bit in the whole issue. Sadly, the rest is a little underwhelming.

On one hand, Poe’s dialog is not quite up to snuff. It does sound like something you could hear him saying, but it also lacks the punch to carry the comic. Poe talks a lot in this issue, and most of his interactions are with BB-8, Leia and the egg cult. None of those scenes really sell the character or the writing in my opinion. It’s okay for a B-plot story, but this issue is suppose to be kicking off an ongoing series. This is by far the weakest Star Wars series Charles Soule has opened with yet. Both Lando #1 and Obi-Wan & Anakin #1 started way better than this one.

Some of the disappointment of the issue also falls onto Phil Noto. There’s certainly no issue with the look of Poe or BB-8, in general all the characters look pretty good. But the environments leave a lot to be desired. The issue opens with Poe flying into a cave and eventually arriving at the egg citadel. The cave backgrounds are fairly boring and all the browns and grays kill the vibrancy of the comic. It gives the whole thing a dull vibe. The Resistance base doesn’t help much as those toned down earthy colors continue. And then there’s the egg. The whole story centers around this thing and there’s no detail to it, nothing visually to strike anyone’s interest. It’s odd considering how much detail is put into some of the characters, who look great. For one reason or another, the background just gets neglected, and it hurts the comic.

With a lackluster start, Poe Dameron #1 is a bit of disappointment. Teaming Charles Soule and Phil Noto together may or may not turn out to be a good idea as this series rolls along. Hopefully Soule can nail down Poe Dameron’s dialog a little better and steer the story toward something interesting. On the same hand, I’m hoping Noto can pull out some better artwork to keep things visually exciting. As is, I give this issue a three out of five metal bikinis as it’s very middle of the road.

As a bonus, this issue does have a mini-comic at the end by Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire. It’s a newspaper style comic strip type story that’s a whopping eight pages long. It’s cartoony and silly, and, well, exactly like something you’d expect to see in the newspaper funny pages. I hate to be such a downer, but it’s not a very good mini-comic. I certainly like the idea of throwing in mini-comics, but this one didn’t work for me.

There is one saving grace, though. As with all of Marvel’s physical Star Wars comic issues, this one comes with a code for a free digital copy. Poe Dameron #1 gets you a copy of not only Poe Dameron #1, but Deadpool & Cable: Split Second which was actually pretty good. Something to keep in mind.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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