Monday, October 23, 2017

Poe Dameron #20 Review - Marvel Monday

Star Tekka

Written by: Charles Soule
Art: Angel Unzueta 
Colors: Arif Prianto
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy  

If there was one thing that got me excited about this series when it was first mooted in the Marvel Star Wars solicits it was the fact that the plot was to rotate around a search for Lor San Tekka. The character has fascinated me since his brief appearance at the start of The Force Awakens and I have been eager to find out more about this mysterious Jakku resident. Despite early promises however we have yet to see Mr San Tekka in this title…until now.

First though we get a little history lesson which takes us from the present (this title is set just before The Force Awakens) back through the Prequel-era history of Cato Neimodia, and we are reminded that it was hope to Lott Dodd, Senator for the Trade Federation during the last days of the Republic and the scene of one of the final battles of The Clone Wars. The planet now uses its long established skills in managing wealth, to provide a banking safe house for the treasures of the galaxy.

We see a mysterious cloaked figure, break away from a  crowd of visitors to the planet, and he branches off, making his way into the heart of the security vaults. The figure opens one of the safes and produces a spherical holocron, which he tells us has been crafted using both the dark and light side of the Force; designed to be operated by both at once. A fascinating little titbit that does a lot to shed light on the emerging Star Wars narrative of moving beyond Jedi and Sith to explore other types of Force users. Before he can mull over this treasure any longer however he is seized and unmasked as Lor San Tekka.

The remainder of the action in this book then centres upon the mobilisation of Poe Dameron's Black Squadron to free San Tekka who holds the key to the location of Luke Skywalker. Around this mobilisation Soule chooses to show us more personal aspects of the Squadron (and their droids!). We see a budding romance blossom between BB-8 and Ivee. We see Snap and Karé struggle with balancing their love affair with the responsibility to keep their focus on the Resistance's cause, and we see an hilarious exchange when it becomes clear that no Astromech droid wants to be assigned to Jess Pava, the pilot now known in droid circles as the "Great Destroyer" because she has lost so many Astromech units in battle. Leia makes it clear that Poe's job, amidst all these internal rumblings is to keep the Squadron's minds on the task ahead of them, finding an rescuing Lor San Tekka!

Bits and Pieces:

Soule has now established a pitch perfect understanding of these characters. In fact he has fleshed out their dynamic and dialogue better than any other Star Wars medium to date. This issue stretches the reader from the Prequel era to the Resistance era and that continues the trend across Marvel's Star Wars comics towards binding the entire saga together. A continual highlight of this book however, is the art, and the combination of Unzueta and Prianto continues to deliver a very realistic and life-like style while still looking like comic book art (as opposed to the trend for photo-realism in some books). A great issue, which teases us with finally getting some more info on Lor San Tekka. Count me in for the next issue.


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