In Review: Poe Dameron #15

I think it's time for Poe to be grounded.

The cover: Former interior artist Phil Noto does the cover showing Poe flying in his X-wing with BB-8 behind him. He’s got a big smile as he’s flying through space. This is surprisingly dark, which foreshadows the colors for this issue. The title character is bleeding too easily into the ship. Generic and disappointing. Overall grade: C+

The story: In the headquarters of the Resistance on D’Qar, Admiral Statura reveals to Poe that their supplies are running low, especially on fuel. Their contacts have been going silent, save Captain Perrili. General Organa believes that the sources are being targeted. She tells the captain of Black Squadron, “If we don’t have fuel, then we can’t fight. And if we can’t fight…then it’s over before it begins.” The story then moves to the Mid-Rim aboard the bulk freighter Romary. Captain Perrili, the remaining source for fuel, is wondering why they’re being signaled so early by the Resistance. She allows the ship to dock, curious why they’re in such a hurry. Her hands are on her pistols, but she’s not quick enough to stop the death of the crew member next to her when stormtroopers emerge. Writer Charles Soule has some interesting moments aboard the Romary, which features strongly in this tale. Who is in charge of these troopers was good, as was the person accompanying the commander. Pages 8 and 9 have some really good back and forth between the characters that really define the First Order’s methodology. Starting on 12, though, the story becomes fairly predictable. What Poe does in regards to the situation is good, but it’s expected, based on how he’s been portrayed in previous issues. I do want to read the next issue to see how Soule can spin this, but so this is an average story that could be given to any classic science fiction pilot. Overall grade: C+ 

The art: Angel Unzueta does a decent job on the visuals. The first page is a full paged splash that establishes the space between the characters, and the point of view is really well done. However, there’s nothing around the characters, nor are there any other characters. It’s surprisingly empty. The second page is better, with a holographic display nicely separating the characters. I really like the crew of the Romary, who are Xextos (Xextoes?). This is a really unique looking alien species, first seen during the podracing sequence from Episode I. I also like that her look is somewhat similar to a bounty hunter who has a fleeting appearance in that same film. Her being surrounded by stormtroopers on 5 is awesome, as is the height difference between her and the First Order commander. The person accompanying the commander is fairly rote. Yes, this individual should be, given what’s happened, but the character was boring. This character should be horrific to look upon, but is visually bland in every panel. Thankfully, Poe and the rest of Black Squadron are exceptionally well drawn; every time they appear they look outstanding. Unzeta really makes them emote well, with Poe having the best reactions of the issue. The ships are also well drawn. For a book featuring a squadron of X-wings, they had better look sharp, and Unzueta excels. Really impressive is the Romary, which becomes a key vessel for the story. A few lows on this book, but mostly good work. Overall grade: B-

The colors: This is a fairly dark issue. Even in the daylight, the colors are dark. The opening two pages should be dark, given the setting, but Arif Prianto lights it with a cool green from the holographic projector. Aboard the Romary everything is dark. So much so that the characters bleed somewhat into the background, such as the crew members do on Page 3. Not improving things is the shuttle landing sequence. Dark colors are put behind dark colored characters and they disappear. Yes, it’s supposed to be dark in there, but a colorist has the right to cheat reality and use a color other than black and gray to create a darkened structure. The two pages for the exterior of D’Qar have a green hue about them. It’s intended to make the reader think of the green hills there, but it comes off as a sickly green mist. When the Resistance pilots are in the panel, the colors look good, because their flight suits make them stand out, but when they’re not around, things go too dark. Overall grade: C+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, sounds, yells, BB-8 speech, and transmissions are created by VC’s Joe Caramagna. Since the first issue, I’ve praised Caramagna’s work, save the dialogue, which is too flimsy to come off as heroic. This feeble font consistently stands out as being weak. I do like the sounds, which are tops, as is the whimsical font for BB-8. Overall grade: B+

The final line: An average outing that starts well and becomes very predictable. The visuals are just okay. I think it’s time for Poe to be grounded. Overall grade: C+

To order a digtal copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Poe-Dameron-2016-15/digital-comic/494677?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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