Ever since this series began, it’s been taking place in the lead-up to Star Wars: the Force Awakens. There have been a couple minor story arcs distracting from the main plot, but this story gets back to the search for Lor San Tekka, the explorer who gave Poe the map to Luke Skywalker shortly before he was killed. This story arc brought Poe’s squad, along with General Leia, to the home planet of the Neimoidians (the race that was in charge of the Trade Federation). It’s better than it might sound. The situation got very complicated in the last issue, with agents from The First Order stealing all of the Resistance’s ships that weren’t already fighting droid security forces.
Poe Dameron 23, written by Charles Soule, is just fun. This story arc’s been great in that it shows a bunch of smart characters trying to strategically outmaneuver each other. Leia’s plan is multi-layered, but simple enough that it almost worked. The Neimoidians are manipulative and great salesmen for their vault services, but perhaps a bit too arrogant to see when they’re getting played. The First Order sneaks in at the last minute and causes problems for everyone. This issue concludes this story arc with a bit more negotiating, but mostly action. It kind of feels like the climax to an action thriller in all the right ways. To say anything more about the story would spoil the fun.
The art by Angel Unzueta is the best art I’ve seen this week, and it’s been a good week. Every panel is well detailed. There’s the intense dogfight in the air with lasers flying around and a lot of fighters in the fray. There’s the very expensive looking buildings in the backgrounds and the strange looking rocks behind them. And of course there are detailed veins popping up in the First Order Officer’s face after she injects what appears to be some sort of performance enhancing drug into her discoloured eye (eye things bother me, so the very thought makes me cringe). The action scenes are well balanced between wider shots of the battle at large, cockpit shots showing well-drawn facial expressions and a handful of panels showing Neimoidians fleeing below. Arif Prianto’s colouring is also great. The comic as a whole is bright, colourful and appealing to look at. There’s also fantastic use of light reflections, blood dripping out of the officer’s eye after she injected the drug, and even characters reflecting off of the very shiny surfaces at … I’m guessing is a Neimoidian bank of some sort? Whatever the place is, this is a very good looking comic.
This series continues to be enjoyable, but at the same time I’m glad that it’s moving into Poe’s side of the story during The Force Awakens soon (the solicitations for that arc just came out yesterday). In any case, this story arc feels like a spy thriller taking place in the Star Wars Universe, with multiple sides trying to play each other for fools. It’s great fun. Whether that means Poe’s series will continue after The Last Jedi or stop for a while remains to be seen, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. If you like Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, this series is worth checking out.