Canon Comic Review: Poe Dameron #20

Poe Dameron #20

– Spoiler Review –

Poe Dameron #20 begins the “Legend Found,” arc, where Poe and the rest of Black Squadron are tasked with rescuing a captured Lor San Tekka, bringing the series back to its roots nearly a year and a half later.

Poe Dameron 20 FullThe first and only time we’ve seen Lor San Tekka in the Poe Dameron comic is the very first issue and even then it was only a hologram. Things finally changed thanks to Poe Dameron #20, as he appears in the flesh no less, on a mission to take a peek at a Force-related artifact spirited away in the vaults of Cato Neimoidia. This was a very exciting moment, as the series has veered away from the hunt for San Tekka for quite some time, only to return to it and deliver all at once. For an older gentleman, San Tekka seems to be very resourceful and youthful, propelled by his journeys to collect artifacts about the Force and understand it. I rewatched the beginning of The Force Awakens (tough research, but someone had to do it!) to see if their conversation implies their chat on Jakku was their first meeting or if it left room for them to have previously met, and I’d say things lean more towards they don’t meet prior to Jakku. I only bring this up because San Tekka is captured for his break-in on Cato Neimoidia and General Organa sends Black Squadron to break him out, so it’ll be interesting to see how these two manage not to cross paths in the ensuing issues.

While the title of the series is Poe Dameron, the comic has been an ensemble piece, with the rest of Black Squad really coming to the forefront in the last several arcs. Poe himself can’t have tons of character development at this point, but the rest of his team can, something Charles Soule has taken full and entertaining advantage of, giving us a Squadron-focused story any fan, especially Rogue Squadron ones, who’ve been searching for similar content can enjoy. The focus on the entire team thankfully does not go away this issue, nor looks to for the rest of this arc, as the remaining members of Black Squad have some drama unfolding that could potentially harm the upcoming mission.

Jess Pava’s problems are the continuation of her label as “The Great Destroyer” amongst the astromechs, who have noted her high rate of destroyed droids and don’t want to fly with her. In the issue’s most hilarious moment, after the astromechs have fled an assembly to possibly make nice with Jess, only BB-8 is left and he gives her his now famous “thumbs up” gesture, but Jess questions if it’s really something else aka a middle finger, something fans have jokingly debated ever since TFA; meta as hell and even more hilarious for it. What her continued lack of an astromech means for the mission to Cato Neimoidia remains to be seen, but I bet it won’t be as humorous.

Karé Kun decides to take a break from her relationship with Snap Wexley, justifying her choice by evoking the Jedi’s no attachment rule to back up her sentiments that she can’t be distracted when the fight against the First Order continues to intensify. The series has not spent an inordinate amount of time developing their relationship before this, so while I wasn’t invested enough in them to be too interested in where this subplot would go, knowing it’ll spill over into their mission and we’ve got Soule writing, I’ll remain indifferent but optimistic at this time.

General Organa’s laments this issue don’t paint the most optimistic picture for the Resistance, pointing out how both the First Order’s stealthy rise and complacency in the galaxy over peace have affected getting something like the Rebellion started again to stop evil. It’s an interesting problem we seen explored before, especially in Bloodline*, but it’s an important distinction to make about this era’s good vs evil setup, as the Resistance isn’t as grand of an organization as the Rebellion. Her picking up on Black Squadron’s negative energy is a fun sign of how she’s honed and focused her instincts and Force abilities over the years, the latter without purposeful training.

Bringing a cast of mainly sequel trilogy characters to a mainly prequel trilogy location is an exciting mashup of eras and I’m looking forward to seeing how these two clash and gel over the next several issues. Crossing eras like this helps deepen both, as Cato Neimoidia becomes more than just a battleground of the Clone Wars and characters like Poe, San Tekka, and Black Squadron interact with history, strengthening their place in the Star Wars universe.

Angel Unzueta (art) and Arif Prianto (colors) are still on the series and making scenes and characters as opulent as possible. The Cato Neimoidia overview panel, showing the giant hanging cities, was a stunning start, while even the smaller moments, like their facial work on Leia as she worries about the Resistance’s luck and making Black Squadron’s “negative energy” obvious and funny, is to be commended. Looking forward to more of their take on Cato Neimoidia.

Here are a few other things:

  • Beebee-Ate has a girlfriend…this is not a drill! Well, maybe it’s just a friend, but the implication was there in another of this issue’s funnier moments.
  • *I was excited by the introduction of Zari, another female character, and while I was pretty sure she was new, I decided to double-check Wookieepedia and boy, was I wrong…in the best way possible. Zari first appeared in my favorite canon novel to date, Bloodline, and partook in one of the first Resistance meetings, ever. What an awesome crossover/continuity moment!
  • Considering this series has covered how Leia wants to mold Poe Dameron into the next generation of leaders, beyond just a squadron, his words in The Last Jedi trailer certainly sound like he’s heading in that direction.
  • Given all the talk surrounding the misleading ending to The Last Jedi‘s trailer, Rey seemingly asking for Kylo’s help and him extending his hand, the artifact San Tekka interacts should be quite intriguing for those who do and don’t believe the two will team-up: built by both the dark and light sides of the Force, it’s meant to be operated by both sides at once. No, I don’t believe we’ll see Rey and Kylo interacting with this artifact, but it does strengthen the precedent for the dark and the light sides working together throughout the ages. I’ve always wanted more moments where the Jedi and Sith are forced to team up, like “The Gungan General” episode of The Clone Wars, so I hope we’ll get to see the history and/or future of this artifact. The Story Group has been playing the long game with a lot of things, so don’t be too surprised we’ll get to see this artifact again at some point down the line.
  • This arc is called “Legend Found,” a nice mirror to a previous arc’s name, “Legend Lost.”

Poe Dameron #20 begins the series’ latest arc with an excellent setup issue.

+ Lor San Tekka in the flesh!

+ Sequel and Prequel trilogy crossover

+ Lots of potential for new arc

 Karé and Snap’s relationship woes haven’t had enough background yet

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth and you can follow the website @MynockManor.

Poe Dameron
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17 – 19) | Legend Found: #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 | #25 | Annual: #1

Doctor Aphra
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-13) | Remastered (#14-19) | Annual: #1
Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6) | The Dying Light (#7-12) | The Rule of Five (#11-12) | Burning Seas (#13-18)
Star Wars
Ashes of Jedha (#38-43) | Mutiny at Mon Cala (#44-49) | Annual: #3

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