Poe and C-3PO have found their droid informant, but Agent Terex has returned to an old place of power in Poe Dameron #10.
Poe Dameron #10
The Gathering Storm Part 3
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
Cover Price $3.99
Story Pages: 21*
Release Date: January 11th, 2017
*Please keep in mind that for Star Wars comics I include the “opening crawl” recap since these have traditionally been a part of Star Wars storytelling. For most comics I do not include the recap page as story content.
Poe Dameron #10 is a mid-point in this arc, and so we’re still building towards the main action of the story. In this case Poe and his team have found the informant droid they were looking for, but now they have to be able to escape alive. On the other side of the spectrum Agent Terex’s past continues to be revealed in little bits and pieces. The character has developed more depth than I originally expected from him, and he has become one of the more interesting First Order characters we have seen yet in any media. The subplot about a possible traitor in Black Squadron continues to simmer in the background.
If you are coming here expecting a story about Poe Dameron, as would only make sense given the title, then you might be disappointed. In Poe Dameron #10 the titular character only plays a marginal role with Agent Terex continuing to take the spotlight. It is hard to argue that this is a bad thing, however, since having a more rounded villain can only enhance the book. That said a lot of Terex’s development is rather mystifying, and having him shift from hard-line First Order operative to fringe-world warlord is a bit of a leap. It is to writer Charles Soule’s credit that the transition mostly works, but it is not without flaws.
Fortunately the backstory is interesting enough to carry the book this month. In the flashbacks Terex gets the Carrion Spike up and running, which is a nice nod to continuity since the ship originally was Grand Moff Tarkin’s. We additionally see his rise to power on this castoff world, and also a sense of how he used fear to control his territory. Honestly I prefer this version of the character far more than his First Order intelligence officer persona, and I rather hope he stays this way after the arc is done. He does seem to have realized that his efforts with the First Order are unappreciated, which suggests he may try to break free from it… or organize a coup. Either could be entertaining.
Over on Poe’s side of the story the droid they went looking for is found. Too bad for them the droid has been programmed for self-preservation and data destruction if provoked, which apparently includes protecting himself even from his own boss. It is a necessary part of the story, but also a fairly uninteresting one. It gets better once Terex shows up to demand Poe’s head, but prior to that it is primarily Poe and his team just talking about the plot.
The art this month continues to come from Phil Noto, who is always worth checking out. I feel there may have been some rushed work this month since there are some awkward facial expressions scattered in various parts of the book. Poe himself has more than a few of these, and it is a bit jarring. These moments are rare, though, and the majority of the book is up to the usual standards I expect from Mr. Noto.
As a mid-arc issue there isn’t much going on here. The main draw is going to be learning more about Terex, and that does come across rather well all things considered. It is not the best issue of the series, but nor is it the worst. It just… is. I suspect that this will read much better in the trade as part of the rising action, and the prelude to what should hopefully be an excellent space battle in coming issues. This arc on the whole is better than the first Poe Dameron arc, and I’m interested to see where it is heading as we pass the halfway point.
Poe Dameron continues to be a comic that shouldn’t work, but does. It is the supporting cast that mostly gets us there, but even in comic form Poe’s brashness comes through. This isn’t the issue to jump in on, but the first trade is available now so hit up your local comic shop or Amazon and give it a try.