Saturday, 28 January 2017

Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Volume 1: Black Squadron Review (Charles Soule, Phil Noto)


Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron was arguably the best new character in The Force Awakens. The perfect blend of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Poe stole every scene he was in and it wasn’t surprising when rumours of a spinoff solo movie started doing the rounds. I’m all in favour of that, Disney, but one thing: please, please, please NEVER hire Charles Soule to write the script, he will torpedo any interest in the character like he did in this crappy comic! 

Remember Poe’s first scene where he’s talking to Max von Sydow - ever wonder how he found him? No? Me neither, but that’s what Black Squadron is about. In his quest to find Lor San Tekka (which sounds like an Asian curry dish and the premise for a Star Wars food show - “Join Poe and BB8 as they look for the best cuisine the galaxy has to offer!”), he encounters an egg cult and has to bust out Grakkus the Hutt from space jail.

For a book about a dashing pilot having adventures in his X-Wing, this one turns out to be astonishingly dull. Bad, unexciting action permeates with unmemorable characters in a pointless storyline that’s impossible to care about. The egg cult story had a derivative flavour to it too like when the Engineer awakens in Prometheus crossed over with corny Japanese kaiju fighting. And the bad guy, Terex, is basically a Star Wars version of Dick Dastardly but not nearly as amusing.

If you’re hoping to learn more about Poe and BB8’s past, up yours buddy! The characters are still being developed by the movies and no comics writer like Soule is gonna be allowed to make up canon that might end up contradicting the on-screen character’s history so Poe’s basically a one-dimensional, static character here. Phil Noto’s art is serviceable but as bland as the writing - it’s nowhere near as fresh or vivid as it was in his Black Widow run.

Black Squadron was mega-boring. Charles Soule manages to take the most charismatic figure in the new Star Wars movies, suck the personality out of him and drop him in into by-the-numbers forgettable stories. I loved The Force Awakens and I’ll all for comics with those characters but Marvel need to keep Charles Soule away from anything Star Wars in the future - ever since he went Marvel exclusive he’s become such an unreadable hack!

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