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The First Order Exposed In Marvel’s Poe Dameron #18

marvelpoe18- cover

One of the most effective ways of showing the true colors of an enemy is exposing them for what they really are. Not all villains believe they are bad, but something tells me most the higher-ups in the First Order are duplicitous in their galactic ways. When no one is looking, they’ll stomp on whomever they need to, but when they know the camera is on them, they smile and act as if they are a noble force in the galaxy. The Resistance is about to expose the First Order and remind the rest of the galaxy what the ashes of the Empire look like.

 

 

 SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

 

marvelpoe18- first order show

 

Suralinda Javos has been unleashed to do what she does best: journalism. The First Order is plundering backwater planets they know to be rich in ore that the Empire never got to, or at least did not think were worth the trouble. They are looking for thorilide crystals in this instance, on a planet we still don’t know the name of. The First Order commander wasted no time in gunning down a civilian to prove his point that they will take what they want.  The commander is counting on no one seeing it. In an era where the Empire is almost mythical, secrecy is the best weapon the First Order has against the Resistance.

 

marvelpoe18- camera

 

All Suralinda can see are the looks of horror that will spread across faces throughout the galaxy once they see what the First Order is REALLY up to. Her celebration is not shared by her escorts, Jess and Kare. They are looking for a way to prevent any further loss of civilian life. In Bloodline, we saw how the New Republic’s bureaucracy had pushed the ravaging of the Empire out of the galaxy’s mind. Here, we see that General Leia Organa is using desperate, extreme measures to show the galaxy what the First Order has in store for it.

 

marvelpoe18- oddy's better half

 

Sowa Chuan, former Black Squadron tech Oddy’s wife, has been put in a difficult position. In the previous issue of this arc, “War Stories”, Commander Malarus captured Oddy and told Sowa if she wanted to keep Oddy alive she would have to feed Poe Dameron information that would lead him to a trap. Poe tries to convince her that while Oddy must answer for his betrayal of Black Squadron, he will receive justice, and not just an execution or lifetime in a labor camp like the First Order would have it.

 

marvelpoe18- bait

 

Unfortunately, Poe takes the bait. I would have hoped this Oddy-business would have been wrapped up a few issues ago. It seems to pop-up and never really goes anywhere. I’m hoping “War Stories” will finish out the Oddy saga. If it were more of a fleshed out story I think I’d enjoy it, but it just seems to pop-up between bigger conflicts the Black Squadron have with the First Order.

 

marvelpoe18- torture bot

 

As much as I’m growing tired of Oddy, I feel bad for the little fella here. Cyborg Terrex is torturing the poor guy, but Oddy’s giving him nothing but taunts. Oddy offers to help remove Terrex’s implants and just as Terrex picks up a scalpel, we don’t see what happens. I think it’s inevitable that Terrex is going to be freed from his cybernetic bondage, but I don’t think we will see it coming. Each issue seems to hint that Terrex is fighting to get out.

 

marvelpoe18- battle time

 

Jess and Kare have had about all they can stand of watching the First Order taunt the innocent villagers. Just as the troopers are about to begin unloading on the village, the Black Squadron contingent blasts away. It doesn’t take very long for the outmatched pilots to be overtaken by the compliment of Stormtroopers. After Jess and Kare are incapacitated, they discover Suralinda.

 

marvelpoe18- suralinda caught

 

Well, it looks like Suralinda is about to sell the Black Squadron and the Resistance out. Not only does she point out that Jess and Kare are half of Black Squadron, she also offers up the footage she has of the First Order’s misdeeds. I don’t think we know Suralinda well enough to know if she is doing this out of fear, is a truly aloof journalist, or is seizing an opportunity for an exclusive interview with Snoke. I think all of those are possibilities.

 

Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy…

 

marvelpoe18- last flight

 

Poe and Snap approach the trap set by Maralus. As she waits aboard, word reaches her that Jess and Kare have also been captured. She’s pleased, to say the least.

 

marvelpoe18- malarus money shot

 

Wow! What a great last page! The artwork by Angel Unzueta and colorist Arif Prianto are certainly the high points of this issue. This unnamed planet is a very unique environment. Malarus is also becoming my favorite First Order officer. She’s absolutely sinister and has so much bravado in every frame. I hope we see a lot more of her.

 

Overall, I was pleased with this issue. Again, I’m hoping Oddy makes his exit soon, though I do wish him well. I’ll be excited to see how the Black Squadron get out of this one, as well as what is going to become of Terrex. Does anyone think he might already be free of the cyborg control (remember the tumble he took a few issues back)? Just throwing that out there.

 

6 out of 10

 

 

 

 

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he’s not running trails, he’s reading and writing.

 

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