Poe Dameron Vol. 2 – The Gathering Storm

Writer- Charles Soule

Art – Phil Noto

The Adventures of Poe Dameron continue in the second collected volume that spans issues 8 – 13 and follows Poe on a mission with BB-8, flight tech Oddy Muva and the Resistance Spy-Master, C-3PO to the planet Kaddak where one of 3PO’s spies has some information pertaining to the First Order and it’s leader, Snoke.

Once on Kaddak the team realise they are in trouble when Agent Terex’s ship, the Carrion Spike arrives.

Terex meets with crime lords and we find out that Terex, after the Battle of Jakku wanted to start rebuilding the Empire but his squad mate wanted to become a criminal. Together they find an old Imperial base and behind repairing vehicles, including Tarkin’s former ship, the Carrion Spike. He learns that his former squad mate, along with a handful of the gang they have started was planning on betraying him and killing him. He manages to kill them and he takes the Carrion Spike, with the remaining gang members and go to Kaddak where he became well respected.

Due to his failure retrieving the information from Grakkus, Phasma is attempting to get Terex to return to First Order space. Instead he, and his former gang take control of the Carrion Spike and he informs Phasma that if the First Order can’t get the job done, then his former gang, ‘The Rancs’ will.

Poe and his crew locate 3PO’s spy-Droid, N1-ZX (Nunzix) and the group head back to their ship but Terex has the whole population of the city hunt them down. They manage to reach their ship, but with Terex’s Gabg taking to the skies, he has 3PO and N1-ZX strapped to the hull of his X-Wing and leave Oddy on the planet who has disappeared.

Poe escapes the planet and goes into hyperspace. He starts thinking out loud to BB-8 about the spy who have been feeding information to Terex about Black Squadron’s missions. He soon realised the leak, it’s Oddy. He quickly exits hyperspace, believing that he is being tracked by Terex’s people.

Meanwhile, Oddy is onboard the Carrion Spike and is trying to free his wife who is one of Terex’s slaves. He tries to find Terex but he is informed by one of his men that Terex is leading the assault on Poe from his own fighter.

Outside, the Carrion Spike and the rest of the Ranc fleet drop out of hyperspace but are confused by the lack of Resistance base. They attack Poe whose ship is damaged but he manages to get in touch with the Resistance as he crashes onto a nearby planet.

Poe, BB-8, N1-ZX and 3PO enter a cave system but are followed by Terex and his men. BB-8!sets a trap but gets caught in an explosion and C-3PO attempts to reason with the gang but is disabled. In space, the rest of Black Squadron arrives and Snap sends Poe some much needed help, a Droid personality file for the psycho-murder-Droid Mister Bones. Poe uploads the files into N1-ZX and watches the Droid take on the Rancs and win, until Terex blasts it. Poe manages to get the upper hand on Terex monetarily but is saved by BB-8 who shocks him.

Meanwhile in space, Black Squadron are overrun until Oddy sabotages the Carrion Spike and has it Blast the Ranc fighters whilst he, his wife and the rest of the slaves escape in escape pods. Black Squadron try to protect the escapees but lose one of their own, L’ulo. Then all looks lost when the Rancs regain control of the Carrion Spike but a First Order Cruiser arrives and wipes out the gang.

A First Order Agent arrives on the planet to take Terex away, leaving Poe and his Squadron to return to D’Qar and mourn their loss.

Having the whole volume cover one story is an advantage here because we get a lot more bang for our buck in terms of story. The seemingly one-note villain, Terex suddenly feels like a greater threat now we get his backstory and learn of his power outside of the First Order. His disdain for the ‘new’ Empire is obvious in the way he acts towards Phasma and the way he talks about how young the majority of Snoke’s army are, in the end he doesn’t want to crush the Resistance for Snoke, instead he wishes to strike the blow for himself and have the Rancs rise to a greater prominence with him leading them.

We get some backstory on one of the new Resistance characters, Oddy Muva, the Maintenance Tech who works for Black Squadron, who also turns out to be the spy who has led Terex to the previous missions, all to keep his wife, one of Terex’s slaves, safe. At this point it could have been one of three characters, L’ulo, Oddy or Karé due to Snap and Jess being in ‘ The Force Awakens’. I get the feeling that the whole First Order spy scenario was meant to be a bigger part of the story but got reduced over time until it was almost forgettable and really became a plot device to make Oddy more of a player in the series.

As far as characterisation, Soule really knows how to write all of the legacy characters. His C-3PO is so on point it’s hard not to hear Anthony Daniels’ voice, and I never could have believed I would enjoy a story where C-3PO and Poe team up.

It’s a great continuation of Poe’s adventures prior to ‘The Force Awakens’ but I’m still confused as to the timeline, although it is after the events of the C-3PO One-Shot where he gets the red arm and before the events of ‘Star Wars: Resistance’, and given the emotional events at the end of this volumes I look forward to seeing how it affects Poe going forward.

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