Poe Dameron #1 (CC-BY)
Warning: This contains mild spoilers for Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1.
While many characters across Star Wars canon have already gotten the comic book treatment from Marvel in the past couple years, Marvel is now turning its attention to Poe, who is the first new character to star in an ongoing comic from Charles Soule and Phil Noto. Even before his debut, Poe was name-checked in the Star Wars miniseries Shattered Empire, which focused on Poe’s parents and their key roles in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor. (It was inspired in part by Oscar Isaac himself.)
But now it’s Poe’s turn to take the helm as Poe Dameron #1 begins to dive into his recent past following his story in Before the Awakening, which ends just as General Leia Organa tasks him with an important mission. We know that mission is to locate Lor San Tekka, who has important information on the location of Luke Skywalker, but what Poe Dameron #1 illustrates is that finding him wasn’t just a matter of landing in his village in Jakku.And as he, his trusty droid BB-8, and the Black Squadron (which includes a couple of familiar faces from The Force Awakens) find out, the First Order isn’t the only thing they have to worry about. Far from it.
Noto’s artwork captures Isaac’s look while fleshing out some of the locations and characters we’ve already come to know. Soule has Poe’s charm nailed down beautifully. This Poe isn’t much different than the one we see on-screen—he’s dashing and likable, respected by Leia and the men and women who follow him into a dangerous, classified mission. His rapport with BB-8 showcases the long history between the two—but that’s something that can be expanded on in future issues.
He might not always be able to sway everyone to his side right away, as he finds out when he meets the Crèche, an alien race he encounters that met Lor San Tekka, but the sort of humor and wit that get him through his ordeal with Kylo Ren is already apparent. And Leia, who appears to give him his mission, shows flashes of the Resistance leader everyone has come to respect, regardless of their connection to the earlier Rebellion.Like most of the other Star Wars comics running, its capabilities are limited only to the canon already established in the movies. So yes, we know that Poe finds Lor San Tekka and lands on Jakku without the Black Squadron, and that Lor San Tekka hands over the key to finding Luke before he’s killed by the First Order. But it’s in how that background is built that can make or break a story.
While Poe Dameron #1 doesn’t necessarily break new ground on the lead-up to The Force Awakens, it does begin to offer a new take on a familiar face we never learn much about with a comic series that doesn’t rely too heavily on Star Wars lore. It’s a perfect entrance point for new fans who want to expand their horizons as well as the ones who want to flesh out that world even more.