Poe Dameron 11, written by Charles Soule, continues Poe’s mission to bring back vital information to the Resistance. In case you weren’t aware, this series takes place before The Force Awakens. In fact, a major part of this series is Poe searching for the explorer that he met up with at the start of the movie. In the previous issue, he grabbed an old battle droid model with the information in him, but in the resulting chaos he left his Resistance ally behind. Meanwhile, Agent Terex of the First Order is trying to track Poe back to the Resistance base with the intention to destroy them. It doesn’t help that there seems to be a traitor within Poe’s Black Squadron.
Throughout this comic, Agent Terex makes his plans perfectly clear, defying Captain Phasma’s orders and risking severe punishment in the process. By the end of the comic, Poe figures out what is really going on, ending the issue by cutting short his trip back to the Resistance base, but also landing him in a very dangerous situation, alone. Well, that’s if you don’t count the droids with him. There’s nothing dramatically deep about this issue – it’s mostly a bit of an action thriller, both concluding a couple minor plot threads and teasing a very intense battle for the next issue. That and there are teasers for some very dramatic moments to come. Otherwise this comic is just fun, but it’s not as good as this series usually is.
Phil Noto’s art and colouring is really good. While Poe is flying his X-Wing, there’s good use of close-ups on the control panel and visual displays, a good external view of a couple pods on the side designed to carry droids, and concluding with a classic jump into hyperspace panel. Terex’s ship is complete with all sorts of seedy characters in a variety of likely stolen or scavenged suits of armour. The brief action scene flows well from panel to panel, with a particularly great panel of a vibro knife slicing clean through a gun. Facial expressions generally do a good job at conveying emotion, like the look of realization when Poe figures out who the spy is, and Terex’s raised eyebrow when he realizes his plans didn’t play out like he hoped. On the downside, there’s one character who always looks a bit bored even though he shouldn’t. He’s a bit of a weird looking alien, sure, but he still kind of looks bored all the time.
This is still a fun series, and an easy recommendation to fans of the Force Awakens (Poe’s character in particular). That said, this isn’t the best issue in the series. It’s not as entertaining as usual, nor does the dramatic side hit as well as it probably should. Poe isn’t given enough time to feel angry about the spy before he’s attacked, and because he spends this entire issue in his X-Wing, he doesn’t have a chance to show off his charm. This issue is necessary for the story arc, and Agent Terex’s disregard for orders is kind of awesome, but it’s the traditional in-between issue that will probably work better when you read this story arc as a whole. I’m not complaining by any means – certainly not yet.