Poe Dameron #4

Poe Dameron #4

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

I’m a sucker for Hutts, so the cover of Poe Dameron #4 caught my attention. Who is this Hutt in front of Poe? Well the comic wastes no time in revealing his identity. It also quickly turns Poe’s world upside down. Literally.

Black Squadron still has the same mission, to find Lor San Tekka, but now they have a new destination. Thanks to the egg people, they know Tekka’s next stop was Megalox Beta. Here’s the catch: he went to a prison…to see Grakkus the Hutt. Grakkus was the big muscle bound collector of Jedi artifacts who first appeared in Star Wars #9. Soule creates a perfect tie-in by utilizing Grakkus. It just makes sense. Grakkus loves Jedi stuff, Tekka loves Jedi stuff, and they’re both pretty old. It’s inevitable that the two would meet.

The interesting conflict in this plotline takes a different look at the usual prison story trope. Instead of focusing on how Black Squadron will sneak into the prison, the conflict is on how they will survive. At least that’s the immediate threat as they’re thrown in with the inmates without any guards. I really liked the twist that anyone can pay to visit this prison, and with the right amount of credits, you can pretty much get what you want. There’s a bit of Escape From New York in the idea that the inmates police themselves in a contained environment. However the conflict shifts once they meet up with Grakkus. Now they not only have to fight their way back to the escape pad, but they have to break the Hutt out. Adding to the fun is the return of Agent Terrex who is in direct competition to win Grakkus’ favor. While there isn’t much action in this issue, Soule does a good job of breaking things up and keeping it entertaining.

Poe’s dialog is also really good and he has some great moments. My favorite is the scene where he talks to L’ulo about the attack on the First Order transport which violated the treaty. It gives L’ulo a chance to explain a bit about himself and his eagerness to take on the First Order. Then Poe gives him the best reply you possibly could come up with. He agrees with L’ulo, to an extent, forming a bond with the pilot. Then he explains why they have to act in a different manner, how their mission is much more than just fighting the First Order, but preparing themselves so they can ultimately win. It’s an extremely sneaky response because you can’t help but be swayed by Poe. It add a dimension of intelligence, charisma and empathy to the character that wasn’t there before. With the other scenes that follow in the issue, it does a great job of building up the character.

The artwork matches the writing with some pretty good visuals. While Phil’s style is a little cartoony, it’s still very appealing. There’s a good mixture of detail in the style and it works. The characters don’t look sloppy. There’s a high level of appreciation in the appearances. They have their own unique look. Furthermore, the layouts add a nice motion to the story, whether it’s turning things topsy turvy, zooming up high for an aerial shot, or coming in for a closeup on a character’s face. It’s good stuff.

As the second arc of this ongoing series kicks off, things are looking good. There’s an interesting story, compelling characters and good artwork. Poe Dameron #4 has everything you need in a good comic. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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