– Spoiler Review –
The rescue mission of Lor San Tekka continues in issue #22 and it turns out to be really complicated, but that’s the reason we love the Poe Dameron series in the first place!
General Leia has come to the forefront of this arc over the past two issues and absolutely owns the panels of issue #22, explaining her master plan for the heist/rescue of Lor San Tekka from the vaults on Cato Neimodia. With a stylish flair, we skip back and forth between Leia’s pre-mission briefing and the events unfolding in the present, seeing her wonderful list of things any good heist needs play out in real-time. It not only keeps one turning the pages, but it highlights Leia’s learned a thing or two from all her years with a smuggler for a husband, enough to have a few tricks of her own up her sleeve. It’s easy to tell, thanks to both Charles Soule’s writing and the art team, that Leia relishes the chance to be in the field, telling hilarious lies and hamming it up for misdirections, and it’s great to see her having said fun instead of always being burdened by her leadership position. I imagine Carrie Fisher would’ve had a blast playing out this heist, as it’s more of the wordplay she enjoyed about the character than the “pew-pew.” While she may be gone, the spirit of her in the character Leia lives on, and Soule captures that with aplomb here.
The heist seems to go well enough for the majority of the issue: Karé, Jess, and Snap continue to survive an onslaught of droid fighters to serve as a distraction; Poe sneaks out of his hiding place among Leia’s clothes and secures Lor San Tekka; and BB-8 swings in with Poe’s X-wing to help save the day. But two mysterious figures have different plans, messing with the most important part of the heist, according to Leia: luck. Commander Malarus and Terex ruin everyone’s day by taking over the two escape vehicles, one with Lor San Tekka in it! Part of me believes San Tekka ditched the hiding spot among Leia’s things already, but to know the First Order was this close to having him pre-The Force Awakens is a fun little reveal, and if he didn’t ditch then I believe he’ll play a key part in stopping Malarus and Terex from absconding with him.
I’ve been back and forth on whether San Tekka and Poe meet prior to TFA, but after a few rewatches of the film prior to seeing The Last Jedi, I mentioned in last issue’s review I felt they had met previously. In issue #22, Poe and Lor San Tekka meet for the very first time, but we don’t get to spend much time on the occasion, though I love how Poe’s enamored with the gravitas of Lor and his travels and hope issue #23 spends some time with the two together. Speaking of The Last Jedi, the Poe Dameron series has not only been building the pilot’s character, but it has placed a great many deal of seeds to show where he’s headed in the latest film, which contains a resolution to Leia trying to teach him to be a leader and not just a flyboy, something I’ve been sure we’d see in the film instead of the comics but I’ve enjoyed the build-up to regardless. I hope we don’t have to cover that conversation too much longer, considering we know the outcome after the film, and the series explores different aspects to Poe’s characterization going forward. Maybe a little love for the impulsive pilot?
While Soule’s writing brings the spark of Leia alive, it’s really the efforts of the art team we’ve been blessed with that add the final, all important touch. Angel Unzueta (art) and Arif Prianto (colors) really outdo themselves this issue, not only with the splendid array of Leia on display, but the way the panels flow from the past and present, from action to misdirection; it’s all so wonderfully crafted. It would be in the series’ favor if they stayed on well into next year.
Here are a few other things:
- The solicitations for Marvel’s March 2018 comics released this week and the preview for Poe Dameron‘s 25th issue has some curious language, which seems to point to the series coming to an end: “It’s the end of an era for Poe Dameron. With the Resistance and the First Order on a collision course and his mission to find Lor San Tekka nearly at an end, the force of Poe’s destiny draws him on toward an awakening…” That certainly sounds like an end to the series and that it’ll take us right up to the opening scene of The Force Awakens, no? Well, writer Charles Soule confirmed the exact opposite, saying the series shall continue past issue 25. But whatever could that mean? If #25 takes us up to TFA, does that mean we’ll get into The Last Jedi material? Beyond? Or even go backwards in time, to a younger Poe? We should have a better idea next month when the solicts for April 2018 comics come out or they announce a shift in the story in a press release somewhere beforehand. No matter the answer, I’m excited to learn what comes next for the series!
- I was a little worried about BB-8’s girlfriend after he manages to convince her to go along with the Great Destroyer Jess Pava, but it seems I was worried about the wrong droid! Beebee is shot in the head (!) by Malarus, who stole Poe’s Black X-wing.
- The joke about distractions between Karé and Snap was actually funny, but again, the amount of time this issue spends on their relationship is about the amount of time I’d really care for it to.
Poe Dameron #22 brings the heist/rescue of Lor San Tekka to wondrous life, even if things don’t look so good for our heroes.
+ General Leia’s grand plan
+ Exciting, page-turning pace
+ Hello, First Order Friends
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)
Captain Phasma (miniseries)
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars on-goings)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Out Among the Stars (#33-37) | Ashes of Jedha (#38-43) | Annual: #1 / #2 / #3
Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu (miniseries)
Darth Maul (mini-series)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
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