Out of all the characters introduced to the world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron stands as a hero in the mold of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and others played by non-Harrison Ford actors like Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. While Finn fills the role of the hero forced to action and Rey sockets in as the new Jedi, Poe is the swashbuckling hero whose very existence spawned George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s visions in Indiana Jones. In Poe Dameron Vol. 3: Legend Lost, we find our hero trying to build the Resistance, working closely with General Leia Organa to keep the fires burning against the might of the First Order.
In what I honestly assumed was a one-part throwaway, Poe meets a former Republic Navy buddy-turned-journalist looking for a scoop on the Resistance. Even with what is revealed to be a complete set-up on her part, she convinces Poe and Leia to allow her to stay and work for the Resistance, regardless of circumstance. We also learn why it doesn’t pay to be a speciesist in a galaxy full of unique beings. Not knowing your enemy can spit acid is a definite detriment to living.
The bulk of Poe’s story deals with his rise in the ranks and how he deals with loss. The “legend” in the title of the trade is a recently killed mentor of Poe’s, L’ulo L’ampar, whose loss affects the entire squadron and moves Leia to push Poe towards his destined role as a leader. He might be the best pilot in the galaxy, but Leia sees that he is meant for much more. Meanwhile, after a side wipe to a far away sector, the First Order has made a former criminal boss and acquaintance of Dameron’s into a compliant cyborg under the direction of a woman who literally injects a human growth drug into her eyeball. They fit in perfectly with the First Order. A daring mission to steal back a tanker full of desperately needed fuel from General Epi-Pen to the Eyeball shows Poe’s leadership and the skill of the Black Squadron.
With half the squad in pursuit of the traitor that cost L’ulo his life and half working with Suralinda, the Squamatan journalist to get footage of the First Order doing what they do best, the action picks up its pace. One of the best things about the series is how perfectly it captures Oscar Isaac’s deadpan delivery of Dameron’s quips and even passes them around Black Squadron. There is a delicious pun I won’t spoil late in the book and Poe taking credit for engineering an escape he had no part in was hilarious and note-perfect.
One upside of the new Star Wars films is the dedication to non-humanoid aliens, giving an opportunity for canonical comics like Poe Dameron to explore new species and, if you’re the First Order, exterminate a ton of them. A downside to comics set around the films, however, is that most of these characters can’t or won’t appear on film. I would LOVE to see a Black Squadron film. All in all, this book is a win for the Resistance. To say otherwise is to support the First Order.