Throughout this series so far, Poe Dameron and squad mates are in a struggle against Agent Terex of the First Order. Up until this point, Terex has been quite the mystery figure. He’s well-respected by certain members of the First Order’s high command, but his methods are a bit unconventional. In addition to other story beats, this issue finally shows up part of the agent’s past.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron 8, written by Charles Soule, takes place not long after issue 6 ended, with Poe Dameron kicking the Star Wars version of a punching bag and talking out his frustrations with BB-8. It seems that one of his team members is a double agent for the First Order and he doesn’t know who, and the tiny flashbacks to earlier issues points out that each of them could be a suspect. It’s a great way to kick off the issue.
The rest of this issue moves back and forth between three scenes. Poe’s scenes show him being sent on a very secret mission, while the other two are both about Agent Terex. Terex’s past goes all the way back to the Empire’s end on Jakku, showing his hesitance to throw away his Stormtrooper armour even though it could mean his very survival. It shows both his strong will to survive and his dedication to the Empire and what it stands for. The modern scenes for the agent are unclear as to what he’s seeking, but they mesh together perfectly with the flashbacks, thematically and dramatically.
Phil Noto’s art and colouring are great. Each character from the movie looks like their movie counterpart, both in their appearance and their facial expressions. The use of motion blurs and the “punching bag” bending perfectly highlight Poe’s frustration. The environmental detail in the Jakku flashback is impressive, with the vast deserts and mountains in the background, the ongoing battle with dogfights above the ground, and all the dust and smoke filling the air when a star destroyer crashes. There’s great use of visual storytelling, like two Stormtroopers burying their armour in the sand to help illustrate the Empire’s defeat, and that same armour Terex later recovered and decorated to honour the empire in his own way.
Star Wars; Poe Dameron continues to capture the suave appeal that Poe fans enjoy, while giving us a deeply compelling villain to serve as his perfect foil. This issue is much more serious and dramatic than the rest of this series so far. That’s part of what makes it work so well. I’m split between this and Detective Comics 944 being my favourite comic of the week, and all the comics I read this week are at least good. In short, those who enjoyed Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens should check this series out, and this is a good place to start.