STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #28 / Writer: Charles Soule / Artist: Angel Unzueta / Colorists: Arif Prianto / Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna / Cover Artist: Phil Noto / Published June 20th, 2018
Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn, and the remaining members of the Resistance reflect back on both their attack against Starkiller Base and the First Order’s retaliation on the hidden Resistance base, events taking place between the end of The Force Awakens and the beginning of The Last Jedi films.
Highlighting their period of reflection, Poe Dameron #28 opens with scenes of the climatic attack on Starkiller Base that occured at the end of The Force Awakens. The visuals illustrate the battle from the film with which we are familiar while a dialogue progresses between two unseen characters, one of whom gives a first hand account what happened in the battle. After trying to figure out who was speaking to whom, I learned it was actually BB-8 talking to R2-D2. This may be the first time anyone actually wrote out the droid’s full dialogue. Using the droids as a framing device makes sense; R2-D2 is the only character who didn’t already know how those events played out. I liked the bit of meta-dialogue as R2-D2 acknowledges being a witness to the biggest moments in history.
Rey appears in an all too brief scene of her reading the ancient Jedi texts. She plays a small part here but will likely be expanded upon in another Star Wars story later on. This is Poe’s book, after all, and the focus stays on him and the pilots of Black Squadron. Poe Dameron #28 closes with Poe telling Finn about the events after the destruction of Starkiller Base and his crazy plan to distract the First Order.
Charles Soule writes another solid Star Wars story, filling in the gaps between the two theatrical films and making the characters from the Poe Dameron comics feel like they are a part of that same story. Characters from the ancillary material often feel as if they are in a different reality than the live action films. Opening with the droids puts a unique spin on previous issues in which Poe narrates most of the events.
Angel Unzueta’s art and Arif Prianto’s colors re-create the cinematic visuals without feeling like they traced the film. The realistic art style works for most of it. However, there are a few faces that don’t quite look right. Individual panels highlight each pilot who was lost in the battle, adding an emotional weight to the experience. As Poe Dameron #28 combines two separate flashbacks with a present-day story, Prianto’s colors help keep track of where and when each piece takes place, giving each section has its own unique look. The present-day scenes on the Falcon look different than both the battle over Starkiller Base and the Resistance base on the planet D’Qar.
Poe Dameron #28 tells us a story we already know but reframes it to keep it fresh. I would’ve liked more time with Rey, but I know that’s not the story being told in this issue. As great as the opening with the droids describing the battle is, the final pages involving the pilots of Black Squadron, who we’ve been following throughout this whole comic series, really stood out and have me on edge for Poe Dameron #29.
VERDICT 4 out of 5