The Creative Team:
Published By: Marvel Comics
Released On: 19 July 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Angel Unzueta Galarza
Black Squadron is back in action!
And this time they’re on the lookout for some new recruits for the Resistance!
Poe Dameron’s first encounter?
Turns out to be a mysterious person from Jess Pava’s past…
After the excellent end of Legend Lost, we begin a fresh story arc called War Stories. The comic opens with Suralinda, who last appeared in issue 7 (yes, I had to go back and check on that one too), cleaning a sanitary facility on D’Qar. She is interrupted in her duties by Poe, who informs her that General Organa would like to speak to her. We quickly shift to the meeting, with Leia recapping on the events of issue 7, where Suralinda almost sold the Resistance out before changing her mind and joining them. Leia explains that she has a new task for Suralinda, trying to find the Resistance some much needed money. The people who had previously donated to the Resistance have started to think the Resistance isn’t needed and so Leia needs someone to change their minds. Suralinda realises she needs to show the galaxy the evil side of the First Order and so enlists the help of C-3PO’s spy network to find a location that she can film for a propaganda piece.
The story moves to onboard the Enshado, where Commander Malarus and Terex discuss Poe Dameron. Captain Phasma has given Malarus permission to destroy Poe and Black Squadron, and after the embarrassment of the last issue, Malarus is eager to comply. She starts to use Terex’s head implant to scan for information that might lead her to Poe, when she discovers something interesting…
We return to D’Qar, with Black Squadron splitting up. Poe and Snap are off to track down Oddy, and Jess, Karé and Suralinda off to a filiming location, with Jess piloting an old y-wing fighter. We begin to get several flashbacks, hints at Jess’ past and a recap on the betrayal of Oddy.
This leads into seeing Oddy and his wife scrambling to get ready to leave Abednedo, as Oddy is aware that the Resistance and First Order will be looking for him. Unfortunately, Malarus shows up with Terex, taking Oddy away and giving a message to Oddy’s wife to pass on to Poe.
Finally, we see Jess, Karé and Suralinda land at their location and begin to unpack. The last panel flashes to a First Order officer towering over an inhabitant of the same planet, a blaster bolt shot by the officer, through the chest of the alien…
It feels like Poe Dameron has had an uneven road so far. With the previous arc rating so highly, I was a little worried that this next arc would fall short; it doesn’t. Lots of loose ends have been unanswered throughout the entire series and it’s with relief to see that these are starting to get tied up. After realising who she was, it was good to see Suralinda again. The need Leia has for her shows just how desperate the Resistance is becoming. The last story arc was about a lack of fuel, and here we are again with a lack of another resource; money. One could argue that the writer is covering already trodden ground, but this still feels fresh. Added to that, I love that the Resistance has this constant struggle to find the equipement and resources it needs, it fits in with what we see in The Force Awakens and has a similiar feel to how the Rebellion is portrayed in the Rebels animated series. I do find it interesting that Leia needs advice from Suralinda, as I’m sure Leia would have had to deal with similiar issues during the time of the Rebellion, but this is a minor gripe.
Another outstanding quality about this issue was the humour. A lot of writers just can’t get this aspect quite right, yet Soule is a master. Leia’s comments about the cleanliness of the sanitary facilities and the astromechs on strike when it comes to Jess, had me laughing out loud. They are well used and not overdone.
And now for the bantha in the room… the synopsis. Yes I’ll pause while you scroll back up. Read it? Puzzled? Me too! The synopsis does not fit this issue and I suspect that this is for some future issue. The quick flashback of Jess’ during the story will surely lead to this ‘mysterious person’, but I would rather find this out while reading, rather than from an incorrect synposis. Safe to say, we will be having more flashbacks in the next few issues.
And finally, the artwork. What can I say that I haven’t previously said? The artwork in this issue is excellent, not just for Poe Dameron but for any of the Star Wars comics. The choice to include a y-wing in this issue was well thought, just for the nostaligia of visually seeing an x-wing and y-wing together. Unzueta has no trouble illustrating these classic ships and doing it right. I am always surprised how well the likeness of Leia is captured, and Unzueta does not disappoint. It is the art element, more than anything else, that has me wanting more Poe Dameron.
Issue Cover Variants:
Poe Dameron #17 will be collected in the Trade Paperback, Poe Dameron Volume 3 in October 2017.