Its no secret that I am not much of a fan of the new series of Star Wars books that are now making up the new canon, likewise comic books have never been an interest with mine, although recently I have delved a little deeper.
Hoping to gain a little more detail to the Star Wars universe and to try and reach that old feeling of depth the expanded universe gave me I decided to try the Poe Dameron series of comics. I reasoned that this fitted the new incarnation of Star Wars and so couldn’t possibly clash the with established canon on my head.
To start with I have to comment on the art style, difficult for someone whose closest artistic ability is paint by numbers, but I must confess that the art style in the series is good. Well known characters such as Poe and Leia are well rendered and look very much like who they should. As for the story , well that is pretty standard comic book fare.
I find comics less deep in story telling as a rule and this was no different. The series of linked stories covering Black Squadron in the build up to the Force Awakens and beyond are interesting but hardly gripping.
It is nice to see characters like Snap Wexley more time and it was great to see an old alien – a Duros called L’Ulo given prominence in the bonfire of races seen in the new films. The action is tense at times and it does give a little context to the cold war that existed between the Resistance and the First Order. It was interesting to see both sides try and out do each other without breaking cover.
I think the series biggest problem is its lead, Poe is not a likeable character although the development in the comic does help explain his behaviour in the Last Jedi. He is arrogant and self absorbed, willing to believe his own hype about his ability as a pilot. Its no wonder he didn’t stay in the New Republic Navy, he wilfully disobeys orders and endangers others.
He is of course a hero, an ace pilot and he always comes through in the end but he lacks the charm of Hans roguish nature or the self awareness of Luke’s Jedi. Through all this however you can see that Leia sees something important in him, that there is a glimmer of hope about him, something perhaps she can draw out of him, although her attempts in the series and in the Last Jedi seem to lean towards failure.
Some of the best moments are the interactions with the Droids and in some cases they form the greatest heart in the series. BB-8 is like Jimney Cricket to Poe and the other Astromech droids illustrate as much heart as any of the flesh and bone characters.
Particularly welcome was the brief appearance of Mr Bones, Snaps old friend and protector from the novels. A series focusing on Snap Wexley seeing how he went from a small band of trouble shooters in the New Republic to Resistance pilot and getting married would prove fertile ground for a novel or comic series.
Agent Terex was an interesting adversary and helped give some kind of purpose to the First Order but I disliked his pirate ways which seemed unnecessary, he was rounded and bad enough as an ex-imperial and First Order operative. He had an interesting back story starting on Jakku that could have fuelled greater conflict between this old imperial and the new ideas of the First Order.
As a whole the series was entertaining but like much modern Star Wars lacked a third dimension and it is sorely missed.
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