STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #24
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Angel Unzueta
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 2/14/18
On the hunt for Luke Skywalker, Poe Dameron must rescue Lor San Tekka to retrieve valuable information in Poe Dameron #24.
Plot: Poe Dameron and the Black Squadron must rescue Lor San Tekka once again after Agent Terex kidnaps him. However, Agent Terex decides to play both sides off of one another.
Story: Despite being called Poe Dameron, the book also includes a fuller cast of characters and that’s on display in this issue. While I always enjoy the examination of Poe and Leia’s dynamic, it’s nice when Charles Soule explores the characters who don’t get as much development in the films. We get to see more of the Black Squadron’s interactions with one another and see that they do in fact have personalities.
While the action this issue might not be the most explosive, Soule continues to prove that he knows how to capture that certain tone that works so well in the Star Wars universe. It’s the perfect balance of hope and despair that leaves you on edge but not ready to give up. And that’s exactly where this issue leaves us, leading up to the events of The Force Awakens.
The focus on Terex proves less interesting in this issue, partially because it’s not clear what he wants other than to be a cunning nuisance. Generally, Star Wars villains have more concrete motivations, but Terex is almost chaotic neutral at this point, similar to a Loki type figure. Overall, I think it’s fair to say the issue is a little slow, but at least the fruitless search mission gives the pilots time to talk and interact.
Art: The art excels when capturing wider views, providing the breathtaking shots of ships in space that make you feel like you’re viewing it from a nearby spaceship. Each background is rich with details, whether it’s the blur seen through the window as they fly through space or the still twinkle of the galaxy.
While Angel Unzueta draws a lot of detail for each character, the issue lacks the emotional punch of some of his other standout work in this series. Honestly, it could be because they’re in flight helmets most of the issue and in different ships, so there is less physical connection between the characters. However, the use of heavier lines to create an in-focus effect adds a lot of depth to the panels which make them pop off the page.
Arif Prianto includes a rich color palette to contrast with the cool blues of outer space. There is the glow of light reflecting off the orange visors and most striking is the rich green used on Kare’s helmet that almost looks slick like wet paint. Even in sterile space ship settings, the colors really elevate each panel to make them feel more alive.
Verdict: As we reach the point where the comic starts colliding with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the pace has become an issue. Though perhaps that’s because we already know where the story needs to go. That alone, however, is no reason to avoid a well-written comic with solid art. If anything, pick this book up to see more about what’s going on with the characters not named Poe.