– Spoiler Review –
The fun and excitement of The Screaming Citadel crossover continues to build in Part 3 – Doctor Aphra #7! The reunion of Sana and Aphra is better than expected (and deadlier!), all the characters together is a blast (even if Leia feels slightly off), and despite the art feeling a bit out of place, things get even more out of control than I imagined was possible, making this another fine entry into what’s shaping up to be a memorable crossover.
While I felt like Part 2 – Star Wars #32 showed Sana was cooling towards Aphra and how she ended their relationship, Doctor Aphra #7 proves otherwise when Sana greets her ex with a blaster bolt to the face! Luke blocks it, thankfully, but I love how Aphra’s closest brushes with death have come from Darth Vader and an ex, while oddly enough she’s been saved by a Skywalker both times, from a certain point of view (as Vader’s lack of mercy was predictable and she planned for it and Luke blocks Sana’s shot here). Thanks not only to that cold ass hello from Sana, the way Aphra continued to look out for her unhappy ex throughout the issue is what truly made this reunion everything I had hoped for, and then some. As we have seen time and time again, Aphra only ever really looks out for herself (recent examples include setting Luke up here to be taken by the Queen and her taking the crystal of Rur’s consciousness instead of locking it away like her dad wanted), so for her to actually protect Sana truly proves she can not only care for someone else, but she really cares for Sana, even if she had just tried to kill her. How their dynamic plays out for the final two issues of this crossover is something I’m absolutely excited to see, as it could really go anyway with these two. Besides their reunion, the Aphra and Luke dynamic ruled once again, especially as Luke continues his insistence of finding the good in people and won’t let up about it with Aphra to the point he even calls her his friend. She doesn’t seem to feel terribly sorry about setting him up at the end here, but between seeing some cracks into her overwhelming self-interest with Sana and Luke’s offer of friendship, maybe we’ll see her make a type of move to help them both even if it doesn’t serve her. Or, in some Chelli Aphra way, it will, but the possibility of either is just another factor in the fun to be had ahead in the crossover.
Leia normally doesn’t suffer fools or the foolish habits of the males in her life, but she seems to go almost a little too far in admonishing Luke (not that I don’t think he deserves it) to the point it almost seems a little out of character. She hands out some nasty digs at his farm boy heritage, even threatening to court martial him for his stupidity in going along with Aphra’s schemes to gain some Jedi knowledge. However, there is some set up this issue for her to learn to go a little easier on these people she calls friends, as (of all droids) Triple-Zero points out the trade-off for efficiency that he and his counterpart Beetee provide means working with monsters, not people who actually care for her.
It was quite the welcomed surprise Triple-Zero actually hands out good advice, though of course it was done in his gruesome but hilarious fashion in a scene where he adds, “Looking queasy,” to his dictionary of Alderaanian compliments. This is just one of many parts which make this crossover even more entertaining and worth it, fulfilling the promises (and my wishes) for seeing everyone together. And just as soon as they are all united, their actions and those of the Screaming Citadel’s inhabitants pull them apart once more and seeing how they manage to get back together is another one of many things I’m looking forward to see in this crossover’s final issues, as it certainly looks more dire and dire for our heroes by the end of Aphra #7.
As for the art this issue, which sees the return of Antonio Fabela from the Aphra series proper as colorist, Andrea Broccardo (Kanan #12) takes over for artist duties and I have to say it is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s not terribly different from the first arc’s art by Kev Walker, but it does share some similarities to art in the Star Wars‘ arc “The Last Flight of the Harbinger.” That art felt tonally different then the tale being told and Broccardo’s style feels the same way here, as the gothic-horror mood seeped in the first two issues thanks to both the art and writers (Kieron Gillen with Marco Chechetto and Jason Aaron with Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado) is still intact in Gillen’s writing but doesn’t quite make it there with the art. It’s actually something I could see getting used to and thoroughly enjoying elsewhere (as I am want to do), but it certainly makes Aphra #7 feel/look different than the rest of The Screaming Citadel, which isn’t a plus.
Here are a few other things:
- Last issue I theorized the Queen could’ve gotten the Citadel’s stash of Abersyn symbiotes from the ones Aphra stole to get her doctorate, but this issue reveals the Queen’s been doing this for at least 100 years.
- I previously mentioned the Queen being allergic to Wookiees, aka Krrsantan in this case, might turn out to be the silver bullet to her space vampire ways and, well, it might be right from a certain point of view. Triple-Zero, in the scene mentioned above regarding him kind of teaching Leia a lesson, is one that involves the muderbot cutting open the Wookiee’s unconscious skull and implanting the symbiote, seemingly giving Krrsantan some impressive and frightening super-strength or something. But it is the symbiotes which don’t like Wookiees, not the Queen herself, as it seems the symbiotes might just add abilities to Wookiees but not control them.
- Unless I was misreading a couple of things, there were some typos this issue so don’t be too surprised if something seemed off to you as well (I’m sure these will be corrected in a reprint). Here’s an example or two: Aphra, “Okay, this is what we’ve got. Multiple exits, antechambers, blast doors. They should be sealed…but I can’t be percent.” It would seem the word, “…one hundred…” should be in there before she says percent, no?; also, this Luke line, “He’s wasn’t as bad as he pretended to be either” (emphasis mine). Neither of these ruin anything for the issue, but they can stick out like a sore thumb.
Despite a minor bump with Leia and the art, Doctor Aphra #7 is another highly enjoyable entry (especially thanks to Aphra and Sana) into what is turning out to be one highly memorable crossover, The Screaming Citadel!
+ Aphra and Sana certainly have some things to iron out
+ Everyone teaming up (again, in a way) is as glorious as imagined
+ Situation gets even more entertainingly out of control
– Slightly off Leia
– Art doesn’t gel as well with what’s already come before it in TSC
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
The Screaming Citadel
Part 1: The Screaming Citadel #1 | Part 2: Star Wars #31 | Part 4: Star Wars #32 | Part 5: Doctor Aphra #8
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Annual: #1 | #2
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 19)
Darth Maul (mini-series)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)