– Spoiler Review –
It’s the end of an era for the Poe Dameron comic series, as issue #25 wraps up all its major story arcs that have been brewing since #1 and prepares the series to hyperspace off into its newest direction.
Since the very beginning, April 7, 2016, nearly two years ago, the thrust of the Poe Dameron series has more or less been Poe’s mission, assigned to him by Leia, to bring in Lor San Tekka so he can lead them to Luke Skywalker. While this latest arc, “Legend Found,” has brought the possibility of ending the mission to the table, it’s managed to entertainingly keep the objective just out of Poe and Black Squadron’s reach, and the First Order’s as well. But in issue #25, Poe and team finally catch up and secure Lor San Tekka! It’s rather marvelous to see this mission completed, helping set up the opening scene in The Force Awakens, and allows our heroes a victory after everything that’s transpired over the past 25 issues. The moment is anticlimactic however, as Lor doesn’t yet know Luke’s location so the moment they catch up with Lor he’s suddenly back off to look for Luke again. I know he couldn’t have the info now because of the TFA scene, but I thought he’d at least have completed the map, though not have it on his person or something like that. And since this has really always been about the journey, as Y: The Last Man so hauntingly reminded me at its end, it’s been a fun, rollicking adventure I’ve always looked forward to, so Lor’s quick release isn’t much a bummer in the grand scheme of things; it’s like catch-and-release fishing, the spoils are gone as soon as you get them, though at least the act of getting the fish was exciting. That’s a bad analogy for me to use because I’m not fan of fishing, but I think it gets the point across regardless.
What I really enjoyed about Lor’s appearance in the issue was his chat with Poe at the end. As he reveals his outlook on the Force to Poe, that what really binds the galaxy together is the people within it and the Force weaves through them all, it brings about two curious connections: For starters, helping Poe realize individuals are more important than some unseen destiny/power might be what helps him both be so quick to trust Finn when he comes asking for a pilot, while also assisting in his realization that no dead heroes is more important than victory, key things in Poe’s future; the other connection is how Lor’s idea lines up with how the sequel trilogy is focusing on giving the Force back to everyone, that one doesn’t need to have a strong bloodline to play an important part in the galaxy or be good with the Force, a poetic point to make as this series prepares to jump into the sequel trilogy timeline, with Soule summing up its grand idea here with Lor’s words.
There’s not been enough development for Karé and Snap’s relationship for me to care either way really about them, so while their wedding is cute and everything, it didn’t have much impact for me. Here’s hoping it doesn’t signal some terrible future for either of them, especially Kare, because the last thing we need is another fridged lady, though I trust Soule wouldn’t let that happen. Either way, I’m very curious to see what she and Snap are up to during the events of the sequel trilogy so far, something the next arc of this series will explore.
The relationship I was actually invested in? BB-8 and Ivee! And of course that’s the one that had to suffer the hardships this issue. Ivee’s sacrifice, while seeming to confirm Jess Pava’s bad luck with droids, was a poetic little death due to its repercussions. Considering Jess has been blaming herself for getting so many astromechs destroyed, earning her a nickname of “The Great Destroyer,” Ivee’s parting words about it not being Jess’ fault might finally allow her to have more confidence in herself and help a new astromech join her in the battles ahead (as we saw in TFA). As for BB-8, his sadness is (temporarily) lifted when Jess reveals Ivee left a part of her processor unit behind and gives it to him, which he promptly installs in Poe’s Black One X-wing so she can be with him in the years ahead. The Last Jedi novelization did a good deal of character building for a ship computer’s personality, something we’ve seen with the Falcon and Threepio’s attempts to communicate with it, so it’s really easy and sweet to now think of all the times you see BB-8 in Black One as him getting to chat with his girlfriend. As happy as that image is, remembering that Black One is obliterated in The Last Jedi, thus destroying the final piece of Ivee, makes BB-8’s actions in TLJ more like a wounded soul who lost his soulmate, attacking a bunch of Canto Bight security guards and recklessly teaming up with an unknown quantity in DJ, while it tinges the reconnection between the two droids here with bittersweet feelings.
Had this been the end of the Poe Dameron series, I’d have been extremely happy with the series overall. There were a few dips here and there, but it’s been delivering consistent action-adventure, X-wing pilot focused fun for more often than naught. Thankfully it’s not the end, as the series will continue on, showing us the unseen journeys of the series’ characters throughout the sequel trilogy, which raises some interesting questions about Ep. IX, though I’ll discuss that in a moment.* A big, giant thank you has to go out to Charles Soule, the most prolific and varied Star Wars comic writers to date, for imbuing this series with an unending sense of fun and intriguing villains, making it worth checking into month after month. That same heaping pile of thanks needs to be thrown all over Angel Unzueta (art) and Arif Prianto (colors), whose tenure on the art has been nothing short of enjoyable and spectacular, capturing likenesses in an organic way and giving the action an always epic feel, while Joe Caramagna has been right there alongside them as a smooth operator of a letterer. And lastly, more thanks on delivery to Assistant Editor Heather Antos and Editor Jordan D. White, both of whom are leaving SW comics as editors this year sadly, for letting this series survive long after its due date.
Here are a few other things:
- Reportedly in the children’s novel, Join the Resistance 2, Karé and Snap not only already had their wedding, but it was memorable for all the wrong reasons: it was full of flatulence aka, you know, farts. No joke. I didn’t have any plans on reading the JtR series simply because I’ve decided against reading everything that comes out so I’ve been choosing carefully what I do, but hearing about said smelly wedding made me happy with my decision. But for those poor souls who soldiered through the fart wedding, seeing it be clean and more formal in this canon setting seems to be quite cathartic.
- Over at Charles Soule’s website in his latest releases section, he talks about how Poe Dameron was originally meant for a shorter issue count but the fans helped keep it alive, while also teasing the stories yet to come. And over at Marvel’s blog, he looks back at the series in a wonderful little interview.
- *As the latest solicitations for the Star Wars comics reaches into June 2018, issue #28 of Poe Dameron is shown to already be touching on the attack on Starkiller Base in TFA. So how quickly will the next arc retell TFA and will it move onto TLJ as well? The cover for issue #27 sure seems to suggest The Last Jedi will not only be part of the stories Poe Dameron will including going forward, but maybe even go beyond! #27’s cover has Poe sitting in the Falcon, telling Rey and Finn his tales, and if Rey and Poe first meet at the end of TLJ, then this framing story for the next arc actually is already set post-TLJ. Could the series continue into said era after it catches up with its framing story? Regardless, by letting the comic seemingly be set post-TLJ to some extent, I’d fathom to guess this could potentially point to there being a bit of a time jump between TLJ and Ep. IX. That’s purely a guess from what we’ve seen so far, but the evidence seems to be there and I love for the Poe series to be the first one to start reveal what comes next for our heroes. Can’t wait to find out!
Poe Dameron #25 would’ve been a fitting series finale for this on-going, but thankfully it’ll keep on trucking!
+ Bringing in Lor San Tekka
+ Lor’s advice to Poe
+ Bittersweet BB-8 moment
+ Fitting finale (for now)
– Slightly anticlimactic Lor catch and release
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17-19) | Legend Found: #20 | #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 / Arc Review (by Chris) | Annual: #1
CURRENT SERIES COMIC REVIEWS:
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)
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