Sunday, April 10, 2016

First Appearance: Ysanne Isard

The Poe Dameron comic is shaping up to be Marvel's version of Dark Horse's Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron.  It will center on the Resistance's top pilot Poe Dameron and his Black Squadron and is set in the year before the events of The Force Awakens.  A main villain will be introduced for Poe Dameron, "An intelligence officer in the First Order with some ties to the old Empire" according to series writer Charles Soule.  Soule likens this new villain to "an evil Lando."  Interestingly, the occupation of this new villain mirrors the occupation of the main villain for Wedge Antille's Rogue Squadron from the Expanded Universe.

The first comic appearance of the Rogue Squadron's main villain occurrs in Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #21.  Ysanne Isard is the Director of Imperial Intelligence and the real power behind Sate Pestage, Emperor Palpatine's right hand man and successor after the Battle of Endor.  She is politically cunning and ruthless; she replaced her father, Armand Isard, as Director when she accused him of treason to the Empire for which he was executed.  Eventually, she engineers Pestage's downfall and for a while, assumes control of the remnants of the Empire herself.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #21a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 1997)
1st appearance of Ysanne Isard
Interestingly, despite appearing in 14 Dark Horse comics and her important role as leader of the Empire after she betrays Pestage, Ysanne Isard is not featured on any comic covers.  The cover to Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #21 shows Baron Soontir Fel, who also makes his first appearance in this issue.  Soontir Fel is the Empire's top TIE pilot and another fan favorite character.

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