Marvel Sketch Cover Madness: Poe Dameron No. 1!

The sketch cover.

The sketch cover.

So, Marvel just made a very big deal last week about their “Force Awakens” spinoff comic, Poe Dameron. The book revolves around the “best pilot in the resistance” and features a full Marvel style retailer “release party” complete with variants, posters, and pins. The big questions though is a simple one: is the comic any good?

First off, the book is drawn by Phil Noto, which immediately goes in the “plus” column. With the art out of the way, the book has a pretty big challenge to deal with. Poe Dameron may have been one of the pivotal characters in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but he didn’t really get much chance to develop his character in the movie beyond some ace X-Wing flying and his bromance with Finn. In terms of story, “Star Wars: Poe Dameron” tells the tale of Poe’s mission to find the “old ally” named Lor San Tekka (the old guy Poe meets in the village at the start of the movie). It starts out as all stories about ace X-Wing pilots generally start start, with a daring flight through an underground cavern, complete with the usual “that door is closing!” climax. Pretty standard “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” kind of stuff, which Phil Noto illustrates very well.

The highlight of this story is Poe’s relationship with the trusty BB-8 – the rolly-bot that pretty much became everyone’s new favorite droid. Seriously, I’m an R2-D2 loyalist, but I got a BB-8 bag as a gift, and everyone LOVES it to death. You can’t go wrong with more BB-8 in the story. Even though the little droid only talks in beeps and whistles, Poe’s interaction with BB-8 emphasizes the camaraderie between the two, and makes their scenes together in “The Force Awakens” a whole lot more meaningful. The film had an implied closeness between the little droid and the pilot, but the comic tries to add the backstory to make us buy into that relationship.

The only thing that doesn’t really make sense is the sub-plot set up in this issue, which involves a hidden village and a giant blue egg. No joke, there, True Believers. Still, Poe Dameron is the first new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to get his own comic, so this is what we have moving forward with Star Wars, for the moment.

The art sans cover elements.

The art sans cover elements.

In terms of the art…I wanted to go with something a bit light hearted. I’ve been depressed a bit lately, and wanted to put something whimsical on paper. I couldn’t really justify putting an X-Wing in the image, since my own car is still in the shop…something that is getting less and less tolerable. I foresee a hard conversation in the future, wherein I try and get to the bottom of these delays. That’s probably another post, though.

Thing is…I always thought the X-wimgs were cool. Plus, they were generic…you could have one. There was only one Millennium Falcon, but pretty much everyone with an orange jumpsuit got an X-wing. General Dodonna and Princess Leia were handing those things out like candy at Halloween. It was cool, and it spoke to freedom, to flight anywhere you wanted…and what’s more, you got a cool robot friend to go with it.

So, the art is about that childlike feeling, and cool robot friends. I may not have my car, but I do have my cool rolly-bot bag, which sits with Zebra Pony in the shotgun seat of the loaner. Figure that Poe himself had a loaner for a while…his X-wing was pretty badly messed up, at the beginning of the film.

I wonder how long he had to wait for an ignition distributor?

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