Once again Doctor Aphra finds herself in lots of trouble (gasp!). I know, I know, that’s just crazy.
Rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra jumps to lightspeed and accelerates into the next chapter of her life! The not-so-good Doc is being blackmailed by evil droid mastermind Triple-Zero to run missions for his underground crime syndicate — but that doesn’t mean she can’t cause trouble and have fun along the way! Her latest assignment? Infiltrating a secret Rebellion training center run by General Hera Syndulla. Aphra is used to being in way over her head, but this time she’s not alone! Who else is caught up in her latest misadventure? Let’s hope they’re friendly — otherwise Aphra may have finally bitten off more than she can chew! Hunted by both Hera of the Rebellion and Tolvan of the Empire, Aphra’s got a lot on her mind — but she’s always got a few tricks up her electro-sleeve!
What’s the skinny?
It truly takes a unique individual who can manage to have the Rebel Alliance, Empire and a major crime syndicate all trying to murder and/or capture them at the same time. That’s essentially a TL;DR for Doctor Aphra. Well, I suppose I should also include hacker, wiseass to the extreme, digger-upper of old things and shameless flirt. I like to imagine her as a combination of Lara Croft and Kate Libby aka Acid Burn, both characters played by Angelina Jolie on the big screen *swoon*.
Aphra’s former droid, Triple-Zero, is now her master through the tried and true method of blackmail. Triple-Zero has our favorite doctor running through a slew of suicidal missions, with a gang of unbalanced mercenaries along for the ride. Both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance find themselves in Aphra’s destructive path. At least one member of the Empire gets the sweet side of the doctor — well kinda, not really, but kinda. The Alliance has to deal with avoiding destruction through Aphra’s special ability to ruin the lives of basically everyone she interacts with. So yeah, smiles all around.
What’s the catch?
What’s going on with the Rebel Alliance and base security? Seriously guys. When will you learn? You don’t let a group of complete strangers, who admit to being mercenaries, into the depths of your base to see your general. Get it together already.
Is it good?
The alliance has somehow managed to get their hands on Lucrehulk-class droid control ship. These things are relics from the Clone Wars and the pride and joy of the Techno Union. Not only that, but they’re absolutely massive and can hold an entire fleet of X-wings. THIS IS AWESOME. I love seeing pieces of Star Wars history reemerge as legitimate components of new stories. I think it’s safe to say this ship won’t survive to see the Luke Skywalker years, but I’d love to be wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The droid control ship turned rebel flight school isn’t the only piece of Star Wars history that you may recognize here. Cornelius Evazan, the criminal and deranged doctor who lost an arm to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Mos Eisley, is involved with of one the more interesting supporting characters. Remember that eye-stalk that granted admittance to C-3PO and R2-D2 to Jabba’s palace? Those are here in a fashion. There’s also a Rebels character making a major appearance, but I won’t spoil that surprise completely for you. Trust me when I say you’ll be pleased.
So there are six issues in this graphic novel. Six issues of fantastic artwork by Emilio Laiso. What stuck out to me the most throughout it? The guns, man. The blasters specifically. Emilio draws a damn fine DL-44 heavy blaster pistol and a sleek as hell E-11 blaster rifle. A lot of people are sticking a lot of guns in each other’s faces when Doctor Aphra is around and I truly enjoy how it’s presented here. Sure, there’s also a myriad of alien species, incredible creatures straight outta Frankenstein and wild combat scenes, but the guns really struck my fancy.
Doctor Aphra needs to be on the big screen. She’s the smarmy, slowly becoming, bitter asshole with a heart of gold (not really though) that Star Wars fans have been waiting for. Si Spurrier and Kieron Gillen get it. They do a perfect job of wrapping Aphra in an suit of armor made of sarcasm, bad decisions and avoidance that a person with deep seated emotional problems loves to wear. A lot of the decisions the doctor makes are wrong and sometimes just plain horrible. But she’s so damn likable that you become sympathetic to her plight and find yourself making excuses for the behavior that you’d otherwise be immediately damning were it coming out of anyone else.
It’s a great time watching Chelli Lona Aphra charm the pants off of people who should want to kill her, use adorable genetically spliced animals to blow stuff up and literally laugh in the face of certain death. Doctor Aphra is the Han Solo the new generation of Star Wars fans has been looking for. Quite simply, I love this book.
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