In the previous issue of Poe Dameron, Poe figured out who kept leaking information about his squad to the First Order. Of course he realized it a bit too late as he fell under attack by Agent Terex. Terex himself has gone rogue from The First Order, contacting a bunch of mercenary friends with his own plan to destroy the Resistance, against the wishes of the First Order. It’s an intense situation that left Poe stranded on a planet, his X-Wing heavily damaged.
This issue is pretty intense. After running into a cave while avoiding fire from Terex’s fighter pilots, the chase soon moves into a cave. Here the action slows down a bit, with Poe and the droids figuring out as many ways to slow down Terex’s crew as possible. Of course, trying to slow down a bunch of well-armed mercenaries with minimal equipment isn’t all that easy. BB-8 makes a nice play, and C-3P0 shows a very creative use of his translating abilities, neither of which I’ll spoil. But just as the situation seems to get impossible, Black Squadron arrives, ending this issue with the promise of a big fight in the next issue. Meanwhile, the apparent spy in the Resistance has his own story going on. I won’t spoil that either, but he’s got very compelling personal reasons for his actions.
Phil Noto handles the art and colouring, and it’s great. The opening spread shows Poe’s downed X-Wing, his three droid companions and himself standing before it. There’s smoke rising from the back of his X-Wing, a rocky landscape surrounding them, and the mercenary’s fighters approaching in the distance. It perfectly sets the scene and the mood for the rest of the comic. Throughout the issue there’s good use of foreground details, like a close-up of a pilot’s side in his cockpit while he’s firing at a fleeing Poe, and environmental details in the cave that later factors into the action. Poe is the only character with any notable facial expressions, considering everyone else is either a droid, covered in a mask or is a species with a face that doesn’t make much room for expression. Poe’s looks range from frustration to determination, all of which are well drawn.
Charles Soule is doing a great job as the writer for this series. It takes place sometime before The Force Awakens. Although it started with Poe searching for the explorer he meets in the opening for that movie, this arc is focused on trying to gather information while figuring out who the First Order spy within his squadron is. This issue doesn’t have much room for Poe’s charm, but it shows his determination in a seemingly hopeless situation, and that’s more than enough. If the sound of this series interests you, it’s worth checking out.