Seeing the First Order’s craftiest, liveliest (when he’s not being mind-controlled by their implants) operative one more time was the one thing I wanted to see from this final volume of “Poe Dameron.” Instead I got the one volume of the series which has the closest ties to the movies which spawned it. The events of this volume actually take place after “The Last Jedi” as the first half has Poe hanging out with Rey and Finn on the Millenium Falcon and filling in the gaps from “The Force Awakens.” Did you want to know how Poe survived the Tie Fighter crash on Jakku? You’ll get your answer here, but don’t go expecting any surprises. Writer Charles Soule clearly didn’t have a whole lot of room to craft an epic side adventure for the title character. So what we get answers the question of what Poe was up to and nothing more.
Soule does have more room to show us what the members of Black Squadron were up to during these films. This would be a more attractive proposition if I could recall more about them than how two of them are married and one of them is an alien journalist with extendable limbs who can spit poison. Their story takes up most of the volume’s second half as they try to find a place for the Resistance to evacuate to. It goes badly for the most part, leading to a climactic battle against the First Order and an ending where Poe actually says, “The Resistance has just begun.” If only all this was as inspiring as the character seems to think it is. Better yet, if the story was as impressive as Angel Unzueta’s art in this volume which is fantastic from start to finish. He’ll be transitioning over to the main “Star Wars” title after this and that series will be all the better for his presence.
This volume is rounded out by the inclusion of the second “Poe Dameron Annual” and if you can get past artist Andrea Broccardo’s quasi-mongoloid take on General Lei then you’ll be in for a good time. Though its story of the Resistance trying to get their hands on a pre-Empire data archive initially seems like nothing special, the way it uses its two special guest stars and how they interact with the events at hand is. This was much better than I was expecting an “Annual” story to be, so kudos to writer Jody Houser for that. If only Terex had shown up in it, I would’ve had no problem saying that it was better than all the issues preceding it.