Review: Marvel’s Star Wars: Poe Dameron #12
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release date: March 15, 2017
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
A few days ago, I saw a Twitter thread about droids and their role in the Star Wars universe. The author stated that “[d]roid-centric tales are some of the best way to explore the human condition through Star Wars storytelling,” and I can’t help but agree. In the past, some of my favorite moments in the comic books have been centered around droids. Charles Soule has done a great job with his droids as well, and overall, Poe Dameron #12 is another solid entry in the Marvel Star Wars universe (with a huge thanks due to an unlikely droid hero).
As we saw last month, Poe has had his hands full not only evading Agent Terex, but also dealing with C-3PO, our favorite droid to hate, and Nunzix, the battle droid who is driving our Resistance pilot crazy. It’s not just Nunzix’s personality, however–Poe is beginning to question whether the droid actually has information on Supreme Leader Snoke. I think it’s safe to say Dameron is one bad day away from turning Nunzix into a scrap heap. And while they’re trying to evade Terex, the “spy” is on the Carrion Spike trying to find him. His reasoning is understandable, albeit confusing, and unfortunately the issue does little to illuminate how we got to this point.
While Poe Dameron #12 is well-written, the star is, hands down, C-3PO; something that, if I can be honest, completely caught me off guard. Of course, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but you know that thing about him that’s annoying? You know, that thing? The thing everyone makes fun of? Well, C-3PO’s personality finally comes in handy and provides some quality comic relief. Once you read it, you’ll almost wonder why people don’t bring him around more. (Then you hear him talk and remember quite quickly…)
It should go without saying, but Noto knocked it out of the park, per usual. Not only are the characters and environments well drawn, but the panel work does wonders to the storytelling. This is something that, I admit, I take for granted more often than I should. However, in one scene where BB-8 helps divert Terex’s attention away from Poe, the way the action is broken up into multiple frames helps enhance what’s going on, to the extent you actually feel like it’s happening right in front of you.
Over the course of writing reviews for Making Star Wars, I’ve had time to reevaluate the way I view the comic book medium; more specifically, how it relates to what we commonly call “filler.” While this issue is not filler, the pre-MSW David would have looked at this issue and wondered why we didn’t get more; why we only got two literal pages dedicated to fleshing out the “spy’s” story. Thankfully, I can look back and acknowledge Soule and Noto have done great work so far. Things may not be advancing at the rate I would like, but for what we have, I’m finding myself more and more compelled by the story. Terex is a great antagonist, and again, Soule is doing a great job giving a voice to not only Poe but his droid companions.
While I didn’t start out as a fan of the series, by the end of it, I may be recommending it wholeheartedly.
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ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
I am still not sure how or why Oddy is Terex’s spy. I understand him wanting to rescue his wife, but this issue almost makes it seem like Oddy is being blackmailed. This makes sense, but again, Terex’s crew seems to be in the dark if that’s the case. And while I suppose they would be if he just regrouped with them recently, yet I’d also imagine he’d talk to them at some point? Maybe I’m just overthinking this.
Although I think Soule is trying to make us think Nunzix knows nothing about Snoke, I’m hopeful that isn’t the case. While I’m confident nothing groundbreaking will be revealed in a comic series, at this point I’d be happy for anything. I’m less concerned with who he is; rather, I want to know why he’s leading the First Order and how.
It’s a shame we probably will never see Terex in a movie. Rian Johnson, it’s not too late!
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