– Spoiler Review –
Chelli Aphra fields offers on the ancient Rur crystal and of course everything goes to hell in a space retreat, just not for the reasons you’d expect with dozens of criminals all in the same place. Doctor Aphra #10 continues to strike gold for the series.
As I’ve said since the start and mentioned in my review of the previous issue, the Aphra series has the chance to broaden the galaxy and it makes doubly good on that promise here. As Aphra goes around hearing everyone’s offers, we’re given more detailed introductions into some very interesting groups and individuals, with the boisterous Ezaraa being my favorite once Triple-Zero reveals to Aphra that these overly-confident conquerors only control two continents of their home planet but claim they’ll rule the galaxy soon. The Cyban Front (we’re going to get back to these guys in a moment), a group of droids, offered debt forgiveness but seem to be the only ones with their heads (or processors, in their case) on straight because they think Rur should be destroyed; I appreciated that their reasoning is how Rur’s technopathy marginalizes droids either further in the galaxy, something you don’t hear droids talk about often/I ever think about with droids. Every one else seems to make some really good offers but I ended up liking the Shadow University’s one the best, simply because I’m curious what vast stores of knowledge is contained in their university (which would soon include Rur). Papa Toren is there representing an interested party and they end up showing up to inspect the goods and it turns out they have an important connection to Black Krrsantan’s past (also, more on that shortly)! Aphra ends up taking the Shadow’s offer, though I’m curious if their blackmail threats were the reason or there’s something else that spurred her to make a deal with them, considering their credit portion of the deal wasn’t as sweet as the other’s. In regards to their blackmail, they warn Aphra they know about and can re-uncover her less than legitimate doctorate if she doesn’t take their deal, and while she responds in a way only Aphra would, I can imagine as great as their stores of knowledge might be for her, losing that doctorate again would be an even bigger blow to more profits. Or maybe she planned on getting the credits and crossing them, taking back Rur? Anything’s possible with Aphra!
However, it seems we won’t ever find out, as Triple-Zero and Bee Tee once again prove to be quite meddlesome when bored. Last issue they rang Darth Vader and seemingly revealed Aphra’s continued survival, and this week they took the Cyban Front droid who was sacrificed to show off Rur’s technopathy, fixed it up, and gave it to Rur to take over! The ancient entity is free, wielding what looks to be some types of lightsabers, possibly some of the ancient ones Aphra absconded with from the Citadel of Rur back when they found the crystal. Either way, the murderbots really want to be free of their master and be let loose on the world, now that she’s boring to them, so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles their betrayal going forward (or if she even learns about/figures it out).
Since issue #8 of Darth Vader, there’s been the running thread that Aphra owes Krrsantan in helping him find those who tortured him and turned him into a gladiator and it seems this auction has brought them out of seclusion, as Chelli had hoped/planned back at the end of issue #6 of Aphra. I was a little surprised by Krrsantan’s reaction/Aphra seemingly understanding why he got so mad because I had been under the impression they didn’t even know who had been his masters, but it seems they knew though they just didn’t know how to get at them (I even looked back at the previous issues this debt between Aphra and Krrsantan had been mentioned in and it wasn’t totally clear either way). It’s exciting to see this potential story thread wrapped up sooner than later, though Aphra holds him back from killing them just in case she needs to collect credits from them if she takes their offer, but in the end I’m curious what it would mean for Krrsantan if this debt Aphra owes him is paid up i.e. he gets to kill them? Would he stay around to collect the other debts he has on her? Would he take off? Both Krrsantan and the murderbots have storylines this arc that could potentially end up with them leaving Aphra in some why or another so I’m wondering if Gillen will follow through with something like that or not.
Gillen continues to prove his deftness with the dark humor of Aphra and her part of the galaxy, as well as building upon earlier parts of works from all over his previous writing, all of which really solidifies him as one of my favorite writers working on SW comics these days. I would never say he couldn’t do wrong, but it’s not very often when he does! As mentioned before, the art team of Kev Walker (Penciler), Marc Deering (Inks), and Antonio Fabela (Colors) has grown on me to the point I really enjoy it for this series, as it seems to fit the tone overall very well, but it’s still not my favorite. It’ll be curious to see if Aphra ends up keeping the same artists all the way through, like Gillen’s other works (or his upcoming stuff, see below!) or if it’ll change them up for next arc or not; I’d not mind them staying on, but I’d be curious to see someone else get a crack at it.
Here are a few other things:
- Kieron Gillen is writing more Star Wars comics by taking over the Star Wars series! As I predicted in my review of that series’ latest issue, Jason Aaron will be stepping down (after issue #37) and Gillen will be taking over the reins. Considering Gillen’s work on Darth Vader and currently in Doctor Aphra here, I’m extremely excited to see what Gillen will bring to the mainline series, one that has been up and down with quality as of late. Fans of Aphra shouldn’t take this as some sort of sign that there’s an end for Aphra in sight as Gillen is more than capable of handling both on-goings, as well as his other works (as Charles Soule has proven is more than possible). Also, check the link to see the first images of Doctor Aphra’s action figure, shown off at SDCC!
- Aphra’s dress this issue over last issues, hands down.
- An issue without Vader almost makes me even more worried about when and how he’ll come swinging in during this arc!
Aphra’s wheeling and dealings provide more of the fun this series and her character are known for, while tying up dangling threads and calamity on its way make for another fine Doctor Aphra issue!
+ Things start to go so horribly wrong, as the last issue set up. Thanks, murderbots!
+ Krrsantan’s past is coming forward
+ Aphra dealing with the offers
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars 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) | Out Among the Stars (#33-37) | Annual: #1 | #2
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17-19)
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6)
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)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
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)