Ever since Disney’s reset of the Star Wars EU, fans of the once vast and detailed science fiction worlds and stories have found the new timeline feeling, well, empty. The new management has wasted no time, however, getting to work establishing a new canon with original stories based on classic characters and their newly blank calendars, while also filling in details of the new lot with tie-in books and comics.
The latest among the new titles features dreamy heartthrob and pilot extraordinaire Poe Dameron, chronicling the his daring feats and the bold decision making that got him to where we first meet him in The Force Awakens; self-titled Poe Dameron #1 gets right into the thick of things with Poe at the helm of his sleek new (to us) T-70 X-Wing fighter, with a rather shaken BB-8 in tow. Stellar visual detail and choice of visual language convey the complexity of their flight maneuvers while navigating impossibly narrow caves, cutting out abruptly – as seemingly certain doom awaits our heroes – to explain how they found themselves in this mess to begin with.
We see General Organa briefing Poe on the details of the vitally important mission that awaits him, bypassing his self-assuredness to make clear how absolutely paramount the success of this mission is, the objective of which – to track down a mysterious, sage-like man who has a strong connection to relics of the force, and was thought dead until reappearing recently. Leia discloses little else about him, except that he is the key to finally finding her lost brother, Luke Skywalker. Poe is given free reign to put together a small squad to back him up, which we’re introduced to as friends of his and war veterans of the Resistance, some hailing from Jakku, and some having been around as long as the battle of Endor.
Jumping back to Poe in the present, narrowly escaping aerial collision with the inside of the sabotaged cave, we find out there’s a group of devotees protecting a sort of cosmic egg, that apparently has such importance to the safety of the galaxy that they’re willing to risk life and limb defending it, with Poe having to try to charm his way out of a firefight on multiple occasions. It’s learned that the mysterious man was with these people not long ago, helping them to survive and to understand the nature of this strange orb in front of them.
Before we’re able to learn the nature of this object, BB-8 alerts everyone to the presence of a tracking device hidden on the hull of their X-Wing; Poe signals his squad, who confirm the grave news – the First Order is here, and they do not seem happy.
Disney achieves their goal of making the new canon concise and easy to immediately jump into with this first issue of an already beloved character's developing backstory. Oscar Isaac and Carrie Fisher are lovingly rendered on the pages in a story that is detailed enough to have drama, but light enough to have momentum and be exciting to read through. BB-8 is as adorable as ever, and even gets featured in its own mini-comic in the back of the issue, drawn in a rather Calvin and Hobbes style, with a highlight on the mischievous, yet perceptive nature of this little droid.All in all, Poe Dameron #1 is a fantastic start to a series, and a great pickup for anyone ranging from the Star Wars completionist to a young fan looking to explore the stars by way of the pages of a comic book.