– Spoiler Review –
As Poe Dameron #3 pays off the build up of the past two issues with action packed fun, it also takes a bizarre turn when it reveals what is hiding in the Crèche’s egg, which highlights the series’ devotion to adventurously wild tales with charismatic and larger than life characters (almost literally this issue). Let’s hope Dameron keeps the strange and fun coming as it continues.
When I said bizarre turn, I might have been underselling the egg’s reveal, because if anyone actually managed to guess what was inside you’re probably a Jedi of some sort. As Terex’s flametroopers cook the egg as a tactic to get Poe to spill some information he stole before the First Order could retrieve it (as seen in Before the Awakening), it begins to crack under the heat until finally it opens, birthing…well…I don’t really know what to call it or describe it; But if I were to try, I’d say it’s a pale, giant, slightly humanoid, and winged alien that looks like it could probably be able to go claw to claw with Godzilla (so basically a Kaijū, as it were), making it one of the strangest and most unexpected things I would imagine seeing in Star Wars. The Crèche welcome their ‘savior,’ excited their purpose was fulfilled, only to learn this giant creature isn’t exactly friendly and it throws the caves into chaos. But if one creature wasn’t enough, a second, dark one appears (with no explanation given if it was also in the egg or just waiting around somewhere) to fight the newly born one and suddenly Poe Dameron #3 becomes host to a Star Wars Kaijū battle.
As enjoyable as Phil Noto makes their battle to watch, especially how it effects the Resistance and First Order starfighter dogfight on the surface, there’s an interesting little message of sorts hiding in the story of the Crèche and Kaijūs tucked in at the end of the issue. Once the dust settles and the good creature wins, Poe asks the Crèche’s leader if they had ever know what was in the egg and her answer, with a smile, is: “No. But that was never the point.” The message, at least that I got out of it, is simply: no matter what happens in the end, as long as you have faith in what you do, it’s all been worth it. I felt like such a message could be applied to both Poe’s mission to find Luke Skywalker, as no one knows what state they’ll find him in but having faith he’ll be alright is all one can do, as well as to those who fight for causes they believe in. But what I found even more intriguing with the egg storyline is how the Crèche believed ensuring the Savior hatched was a matter of life or death for the galaxy, as I’m about to explain, they were entirely correct. Think about it: Had the birth of the one creature never taken place, Poe never could’ve left the cave alive, which would mean he’d never help Finn escape, which would never get Rey off Jakku, the Starkiller Base would never be destroyed, and Luke would never be found i.e. the entire fate of the galaxy changed; Chew on that one for a bit. No matter the Crèche’s message or the egg’s galaxy changing consequences, with this series’ focus on fun and adventure, and how its tone matches all the pilots attitudes to just run with whatever happens (no matter how crazy it gets), the bizarre Savior creatures turned out to be just another entertaining moment of a busy and exciting issue.
Between Charles Soule’s writing and Noto’s art, the dogfights on display are tense, but light and somehow make them feel longer and more involved than the few panels they do take up. Poe Dameron #3 put Jess Pava a bit more in the spotlight, including showing her pull off a neat little maneuver to lose her pursuing TIEs (though more TIEs appear and damage her ship). Their dialogue also highlights how loosely the term “squad” can be applied to Black Squadron, as rank doesn’t seem to matter so much as individual pilot instinct and abilities, because without Poe giving orders, they all rely on one another to come up with the next best idea if things aren’t working out (even if Temmin “Snap” Wexley ultimately decides which idea they follow). Speaking of Snap, in a nice little surprise, #3 reveals he and Karé Kun are in a relationship: Snap wants to tell Kun how he feels as they confront a whole new First Order squadron bearing down on them and she tells him he can mention it in person once they survive the fight (and it’s also a interracial relationship, so +1 for diversity!). In the end, it was really nice to see other pilots besides Snap get focused on and I look forward to learning more about each member as the series progresses.
Agent Terex and Poe’s charismatic battle continues and I’m enjoying it immensely, especially since it makes me want to root for both sides while also rooting for neither to win so they can keep trying to out-wit and out-quip one another. This series could survive on just these two alone, honestly, as their interactions are the centerpiece to #3. My favorite moment, which includes funny dialogue by Terex, “…when it comes to dirty tricks, I am absolutely filthy,” has to be when Poe attempts to take advantage of the newly hatched creature’s appearance and punch Terex, who mockingly blocks the attempt…only for Terex to realize too late that Poe actually used it as a distraction to take his weapon. While Terex stole the show in his debut issue, Poe takes the main spotlight while they go toe-to-toe, as his quips about Terex finally shutting up or how Terex is a drag because he has to point out Poe “…lost in a somewhat creatively fashion,” made me burst out in laughter. Again, Soule proves his superb understanding of Poe, bringing his humor to life in a fittingly funny way.
Here are a few other things:
- The way the Resistance and First Order forces, i.e. Poe and Terex, decide to part ways after they come to a stalemate is a small, but curious look at the Cold War-type politics between the FO and New Republic going on in this timeframe.
- If you aren’t looking at the comic book solicitations, you’re probably not aware of who Poe will be meeting in prison as his adventure to track down Lor San Tekka continues in #4. The solict for #4 reveals the cover, which in turn gives away the return of a character first and last seen in the Star Wars mainline series. I won’t ruin it for you here, but I’m really looking forward to it, as their introduction was quite memorable in the “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon,” arc and they fit perfectly as someone San Tekka would like to visit given their shared proclivity for Jedi artifacts.
- The official Star Wars site posted a behind-the-scenes look with Charles Soule, Joe Caramagna (Letterer), and Heather Antos (Assistant Editor) about why and how Soule actually writes dialogue for BB-8, how Antos later translates it into droid-speak, and lastly Caramagna’s process for bringing it to life on the page. Select BB-8 dialogue is revealed from the first three issues, with one of #3’s moments being BB-8’s rather insightful point about how odd it is that the light creature is evil and the dark creature is good. And now that I know BB-8 says, “I hate your mustache,” to Terex while trying to defend Poe, as well as how sassy, but loyal he can get in other situations, I almost wish they hadn’t made his untranslated dialogue available because now I’m dying to have it going forward! Maybe in the trade paperback or some special edition down the line, they’ll provide the translations on the page? One can only hope because I practically cracked up at everything BB-8 said.
- I feel bad for not mentioning him before, but Joe Caramagna has been handling Letterer duties for most, if not all of the Marvel Star Wars series so far. Much like his work on Wookiee growls in the Chewbacca series, he seems to be having a lot of fun trying all different types of sizes, fonts, and layouts for the lettering, almost in an attempt to match the weird and fantastical of Poe‘s latest issue.
Poe Dameron #3 is full of fun and adventure, two words which should primarily be associated with the series, even when things got really odd with the giant creatures. At this point, I can honestly say not reading these feels like you’re truly missing out!
+ What the egg…Kaijū battles? Alright!
+ Terex and Poe quip-battle
+ Balancing all the action well
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Black Squadron: #1 | #2 | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-10)
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)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)