Published: August 28th, 2019
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Ramon Rosanas
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
FIGHT AND FLIGHT! POE DAMERON is the greatest pilot in THE RESISTANCE. But before the Resistance, he commanded another crew. He flew for the NEW REPUBLIC. But was Poe flying for the right cause?
After weeks of waiting Poe Dameron #1 finally hits shelves with an impressive five cover variants. The best is probably by Phil Noto who did much of the artistry for Marvel’s Poe Dameron series and so really knows how to capture the hotshot pilot in any heroic pose. Another gorgeous cover is Samnee’s greatest moments variant, portraying the fiery high-speed chase on Endor, and it seems extremely appropriate for Poe with his penchant for explosions.
Very similarly to Finn #1, this story appears to be inspired by the origin’s novella included in Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka. Commander Dameron is leading Rapier Squadron in both, but unlike in the novel, here Poe is very certain about serving the New Republic and has yet to question any inaction against the threat of the First Order. Indeed, the story simply shies away from any messy politics to just focus on flying.
Whilst stationed aboard the Brooksdion, Commander Dameron is called upon to lead Rapier Squadron into action to hunt down a ship with a valuable piece of stolen cargo. The mission quickly becomes far from routine, with Poe leaving his wing-mates behind to fly solo into an extremely dangerous asteroid field where he ends up receiving a flying lesson from the thieves. Unfortunately for Poe, the rather friendly thieves then double-cross him and manage to escape.
There’s a simplicity to this story in the fact that it only really centres around Poe, the mysterious thieves and flying. Taylor hasn’t tried to give us anything new about Poe or attempted an unnecessarily complex plot, and that is the strength of this issue. Poe is being himself throughout – a confident leader certain of his piloting skills and performing a rather cute monologue about his awesomeness in the opening scenes. It also briefly provides fans a chance to see Poe with his first squadron, the friendly repartee between all of his pilots, and gives faces-to-names for some of the characters in Before the Awakening.
Overall Poe Dameron #1 really feels like a nostalgic nod to some of the greatest scenes from the Original Trilogy. The art depicting the mess-hall aboard the Brooksdion is reminiscent of the cantina scene from A New Hope, with so many different aliens all dining together, and dedicated fans will definitely spend time identifying them all. Then the asteroid field is so The Empire Strikes Back, with giant space slugs aplenty. However, it is the X-Wing scenes that are the highlight of this issue. Rosanas’s artwork of the cockpits, the fancy manoeuvres, the sense of motion and the limitless star-scapes is all to the highest standard. When reading the comic, you really feel like you’re in an X-Wing cockpit yourself.
Another great thing about the story is how Taylor hides the identity of the thief until exactly the final page, which keeps the reader wondering right until the end. There are no real clues either, except perhaps one line, but it’s common enough in Star Wars that it doesn’t stand out. The effortless cheeky chat towards Poe, that provides laugh out loud embarrassment, makes perfect sense when Amilyn Holdo is revealed to be the one behind it all.
Poe Dameron #1 has to be one of the best issues so far from the Age of Resistance series, working beautifully as a stand-alone comic but is even richer if you’ve read Before the Awakening. Fans also get to enjoy two issues in one week and General Hux is having to endure his worst nightmare – working with Kylo Ren.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Poe Dameron #1 was published August 28th, 2019 by Marvel Comics. This issue is available via The Marvel App and from all good comic bookstores and retails at $3.99.