Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Star Wars Comics: Poe Dameron #3 & Darth Vader #21 Recap/Review

I wish I liked the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic. When it was announced they were launching a series based on the ace fighter pilot of the Resistance I was all for it.  I couldn’t wait to read the story that would tie into the events leading to The Force Awakens. The first three issues have left me disappointed. I haven’t liked any of the interactions, new characters, or the overall story they have told thus far.

The first three issues have lead Poe to a world where Lor San Tekka lived. Poe is trying to hunt him down because Leia thinks he has information about the whereabouts of Luke (Yes I know you know this if you are reading this) The people of the world are part of a strange religion worshiping a giant egg which they think has the savior of the galaxy inside. The First order follow Poe and his squad of Resistance fighters to the world and attack. The new First Order character introduced, Terek, is interesting, but still didn’t ring true as a either an old Imperial or someone part of the First Order. Terek has a very evil James Bond villain vibe to him, which could work, but I didn’t like him in the framework of this story.

At the start of the third issue Poe is captured by Terek and his squad is having to run and hide against a squad of Tie Fighters. Terek orders the egg the people are protecting fired upon with flame throwers and it starts to hatch. It hatches a Godzilla like creature which then starts attacking throwing everything into chaos. Another Godzilla like creature somehow shows up and fights back the new one that hatched.

Maybe I need to go back and read the first two issues, because I have no idea where the new monster came from. The art and the story was hard to follow, and it didn’t give a clear explanation for the action happening in the story. I am fairly new to reading comics, but the panel artwork in this issue is some of the worst I’ve seen. Not the actual art, but just in how it advances the story. I would think the art in the comic should help explain the action happening, but I was lost.

The person writing the comic, Charles Soule, doesn’t help either. He seems to be trying to write things that sound like Star Wars instead of just writing an interesting story within the Star Wars Universe. The interaction of the pilots during the dogfight is comically bad. Soule introduces a random love story element between two pilots in the middle of the third issues which wasn’t mentioned in the previous two. It has no bearing on the story being told, and it made no sense to be added, other than to just fill up a speech bubble. The pilots also don’t seem to know what they are doing, deciding on one course of action in one panel then changing to the complete opposite course of action a few panels later.

This third issue seems to close out this brief story arc for the comic. Hopefully the next part of the story is an improvement over the first three editions. I’ll keep buying the comic, but it quickly went from something highly anticipated to something I don’t care if I read or not.

The Darth Vader comic has been up and down in quality. The first five to six issues where fantastic, then it took a dip when it introduced the weird cyborg warriors. It then picked back up when the Vader Down crossover event was introduced. The last few issues have been on the decline again, because Vader has been dealing with the cyborgs. They have been better than when they were first introduced, but still don’t seem to fit into the Star Wars universe.

The twenty first issue of Vader seems to hint at the run finishing on a strong note. Vader has tracked down Doctor Cylo, who created the cyborgs, and has been plotting against the Emperor the entire time. Vader finds a way onto Cylo’s command ship and looks to start wreaking havoc the only way Darth Vader can. When the comic has succeeded it has been when Vader is doing incredible things with the force. Stopping photon torpedoes, or taking down an entire battalion of rebellion troops. It adds to the mythos of how terrifying and devastating Vader can be. The end of issue shows Vader having to face another fight. We know he wins, but the way he wins is what I want to read about.

The part of the Vader comic which has never really interested me is the Doctor Aphra storyline. She worked well in the Star Wars comic going up against Leia, and then teaming up with her, but she just seems out of place in the Vader comic. She has never seemed like a character Vader would team up with and use. She is painted as an evil Han Solo type. Someone who is out for herself, and can be ruthless. However, for me, there always seems to be a sense of someone with a good heart underneath her exterior. This might be me just reading something into her character that isn’t there, but I keep expecting a turn down a more righteous path for her.

She allows herself to be taken capture in this issue and to be transported back to Vader. I am not sure how I want her story to end in the comic. Vader at this point is still ruthless and killing everyone who either screws up or gets in his way. Aphra is a loose end and should be taken out, but could he spare her and this be the first sign of Anakin coming back to the surface? I’m not sure which way I want the story to end, but this is the most intrigued I’ve been on where the character of Aphra is heading.

Comment and let me know your thoughts on either comic. 

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