This review of Star Wars: Poe Dameron #18 contains minor spoilers.
Writer Charles Soule has never shyed away from incorporating contemporary events into his comics tales. It’s why Poe Dameron #18 has a particular resonance about the importance of information as rallying point and commodity.
The latest issue of Marvel’s third Star Wars monthly series is jarring, illuminating and, above all, mindful, given the precarious nature of a galaxy that’s caught in a standoff by the Resistance and an ever-growing and seemingly morality free First Order.
Written by Soule, illustrated Angel Unzueta, colored by Arif Prianto, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna, the second part of the “War Stories” arc finds Black Squadron divided in duties, with Jess, Kare and Suralinda attempting to expose the ruthlessness of a First Order detachment on a world rich with thorilide deposits.
The First Order troopers, led by a sycophant with delusions off self-importance, is using violence and intimidation to get what Snoke wants. Javos, the journalist turned Resistance janitor, films the entire exchange, part of an effort to expose the First Order and drum up support for the Resistance.
Things go pear shaped, quickly, with Jess and Kare injured and Suralinda seemingly poised to sell out her colleagues, or is she. Soule’s made things difficult to decipher. We’re treated to Suralinda’s passion for truth telling and documenting current events, but is it for the public good or just good for her?
It’s a vexing issue and, frankly, puts the reader in an unsettling position: Is Suralinda, for whom we’ve rooted, nothing more than scoundrel?
Elsewhere, Poe and Snap are making slow but steady progress in tracking down Oddy Muva, branded a spy for the First Order.
In speaking with his wife, whom he saved, among others, Poe and Snap must confront an uneasy truth: Muva was acting at the behest of his heart and conscience, not out of greed or resentment. But were his actions heroic? It’s all one perceives his intent. Or is it?
There are no easy answers in this issue. Indeed, this story arc is fast becoming among the most complex and nuanced of the series to date. The answer, it seems, lies in the reader’s perception. That’s complex and varied, just as the title’s readers are.
Poe Dameron #18 is in comic shops now, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.
(For more detail and discussion, listen to Comics With Kenobi #34, due out Sept. 5.)Powered by Sidelines