– Spoiler Review –
Poe Dameron #19 delivers quite the poignant, exciting end to the “War Stories” arc, wrapping up the pursuit of ex-Black Squadron member Oddy Muva and providing the first inklings of Terex’s resurgence. All in all, one of the series’ best issues!
Since issue #16, I’ve been impatiently waiting to see if the bump Terex’s implants took were enough to allow him an ounce of control, and the series has been teasing such a possibility ever since. Thankfully, issue #19 shows Terex’s first true resistance to the implants through an unexpected, but ultimately understandable action: he frees the captive Oddy Muva so in turn Oddy can free Poe and Snap, foiling the First Order’s plans for them. Terex is a strong-willed, but patient man and has been biding his time for the right situation, and he chose it when it would best serve him, as letting Black Squadron do their thing and escape Malarus’ grasps weakens his captor and grants him some sweet retaliation. Seeing him smile as Malarus shook in anger over their loss put a grin on my face, as rooting for Terex is unavoidable despite him being the villain. How he’ll continue working to undermine Malarus to get his freedom and job back is something I’ll be watching for with great interest in the issues ahead!
Now that I’m done wiping the tear or two from my eye, let’s talk about Oddy Muva. I did not see his story going this direction at all, but he ends up making the ultimate sacrifice to help Black Squadron escape, single-handedly taking down a First Order cruiser in the process. Poe and Snap were understanding of Oddy’s actions leading to his betrayal, but they wanted to see him go to trial because he should’ve approached them about his situation, though now I imagine they’re going to be a little more forgiving since he lost his life to save them all from the First Order ( And professed his love for Black Squadron, but get in line Oddy, because I do too). Going out in a blaze of glory was a fitting end for the “traitor,” but considering he managed to escape the First Order twice and rewire the ships to hinder them, it sounds like Black Squadron lost an extremely handy mechanic. But as far as the rest of the galaxy will be concerned, the Resistance lost a true hero.
Suralinda Javos’s special brand of dubious morals lead not only to Jess and Karé’s escape, but the destruction of an entire squadron of stormtroopers (drones can be dangerous, folks!) and the story the Resistance needed to gain support to help fund their activities. Suralinda’s intricacies as a character made her interactions with Jess and Karé, who both play more by-the-books, a lot of fun as they are introduced to a new way of getting things done. I hope we’ll get to see Sura again sometime soon, but for now knowing that she twisted Oddy’s story just slightly to make it strictly heroic is a perfect place to let her exit for now. While Sura got her time in the sun, Jess and Karé share in that glory too, though not as much as they did the last two issues. However, we get another brief look at Jess Pava’s past, this time a panel showing her and her family as captives, picking up the narrative thread from the previous flashback in issue #17. I’m hoping these glimpses of her past get more than a single panel per issue at some point, but if there’s anything I learned by now, it’s to trust Soule to payoff even the most minor of things at some point.
I don’t know how Charles Soule keeps delivering all the above, but this was his best entry yet in the Poe Dameron comic, containing plenty of laughs, action, and poignancy for a well-rounded, unforgettable finale for the current arc. Angel Unzueta’s art, and Arif Prianto’s colors, are on equal ground in my book to Phil Noto’s style, the artist originally on the book, but something about their style brings a different, though more fitting energy to the proceedings. I don’t know if its the detailed faces, the colorful explosions, or clear action sequences, it’s all coming together quite nicely. Hope they stay on the book for quite awhile!
Here are a few other things:
- Considering Charles Soule has so consistently delivered solid and ultimately great series for Star Wars (Lando, Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith, Poe Dameron, Obi-Wan & Anakin), I decided to check out his creator-owned title for Image: Curse Words (check out a preview of issue #1 here). It’s about a Wizard, named Wizord, who comes to Earth to destroy it at his Master’s request, but he enjoys the freedom and power he has over the world and decides to take advantage of it. It’s a very funny, deep world with some fantastic, colorful art by Ryan Brown, and I strongly suggest picking it up as I’ve absolutely adored the first volume. So if you’re looking to branch out into more comics but don’t want to have to play catch up on superhero canon, Curse Words is worth a read for that alone, but you’ll quickly find a funny, engaging magic imbued new series. Maybe next I’ll dive into his Letter 44 series (you can read the first issue here). I did this with Marjorie Liu after her excellent Han Solo series, picking up her title Monstress, which is absolutely haunting and easily one of my favorite comics I’ve ever read.
- The next issue of Poe Dameron, #20, will return this series to its roots: the hunt for Lor San Tekka returns! I’m very excited to learn more about Tekka’s journey and, for those who might worry, I don’t think this signals we’re getting closer to The Force Awakens or that this series will end soon.
“War Stories” is one of Poe Dameron‘s best arcs of late and issue #19 is a finale that hits all the right notes.
+ The Story of Oddy Muva
+ Terex messes with his rival
+ Writing and art bring a special energy to this action-adventure series
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-14) | Annual: #1
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6)
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) | Annual: #1 / #2
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)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)