STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #12
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller and Colorist: Phil Noto
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 3/15/17
On the run from Terex, the droids must step up to protect their fearless leader. But not even C-3PO can talk himself out of this one…can he?
Plot: On the run from Terex, Poe and the droids attempt to escape into a nearby cave only to be cornered by their enemies with no help in sight. We also find Oddy Muva reuniting with his wife and plotting his revenge against Terex.
Story: Poe Dameron is completely outshined by the supporting cast in this issue. Aside from saying “Blast!,” when things go badly, he mostly fails to act in this issue. In the game of cat-and-mouse between him and Terex, the “best pilot in the resistance” most decidedly feels like the mouse.
Instead, the droids take action. While BB-8’s tricks to stop Terex are fairly in-line for what we expect from the character, seeing C-3PO use his quick wit is something we don’t get to see enough. Often bullied for being worthless in battle, he actually saves the day in this story using his own particular set of skills while maintaining his classic wit. You can’t help but cheer to yourself when reading this issue. Kudos to Soule for giving a much-loved character his due.
There is a side-plot where Oddy Muva reunites with his wife, but it feels more like a plot device for the Black Squadron to learn Poe is in danger than an actual character development for Oddy. Yes, he had his reasons for betraying the squadron, but his scenes aren’t compelling enough to make you sympathize.
N1-ZX, while completely despicable as a character, offers some of the best lines of the issue with his bleak matter of fact statements that read as a dark humor. His actions after watching BB-8 and C-3PO make sacrifices just further underscore that even though they aren’t human, a droid’s moral direction as good or evil can make significant impacts in the war. It would be cliche for N1-ZX to get a redemption arc and actually help Poe, but we’ll see if that’s the direction Charles Soule decides to take.
Art: Phil Noto continues to do an excellent job, serving as both the penciller and colorist for the book. Even with the majority of the action set in a cave, there is great use of color to contrast with the grays, whether it’s the orange pop of BB-8 or the glowing red blasts of the shots fired. He also creates a lot of depth, even in the panels without action, through the shadows and lights of the cave.
The best action scene is definitely when BB-8 dodges blasts from the enemies below after trying to stop them. Joe Caramagna’s vibrant lettering for BB-8 adds to the excitement of the panel. It’s easy to hear the frantic noises of BB-8 come off of the page. The fragmented line up of the panels also makes the action feel more intense.
Noto also does a particularly good job of supplementing the tension of the dialogue between N1-ZX and Poe through his drawing. While there is less action for Poe in his issue, his disgust and frustration with N1-ZX shows through clearly in his facial expressions. This is capped off by the great series of panels below featuring an intense staring contest.
Verdict: The plot didn’t move forward significantly in this installment, but this issue is great for any fan who loves the droids of Star Wars. Both BB-8 and C-3PO get moments where they shine. The arrival of Black Squadron promises more action, and hopefully an epic showdown between Poe and Terex, in the next issue.
Rating: 4/5 Stars