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Since Marvel got the rights to produce Star Wars comics back in 2014, we’ve been lucky enough to be inundated with loads of consistently great material: the main “Star Wars” series by Jason Aaron has been reliably excellent for nearly its entire now-30+ issue run, Kieron Gillen’s “Darth Vader” series is to die for, and even the lesser titles (“Chewbacca” and “Kanan,” I’m looking at you), while not inspiring, also haven’t quite managed to qualify for anything reaching truly “god awful” status. Su
Especially when said approach produces a series as unabashedly AWESOME as Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker’s “Doctor Aphra.”
Guys, this series rocks. And that’s not even coming from someone who’s a diehard Aphra fan–while I know of a lot of people have really gravitated to the character since her debut in Gillen’s previous “Darth Vader” series (which this more or less acts as a direct follow-up to), my enthusiasm for her has been more measured. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a fun presence, and I think it’s way cool that Marvel is in a place with their Star Wars line where they can create an entire series around one of their wholly original characters…but if I’m being honest, the things that I love about this series aren’t so much based around its protagonist as much as they are with the stuff that surrounds her.
For my money, there are three big things that make “Doctor Aphra” among the very best “Star Wars” comics Marvel has produced thus far:
1.) The lore: If you’re a Star Wars lore-nut, you need to read this series, because you will absolutely adore it (trust me: I am, and I did, and I do). I won’t spoil anything, except to say that Gillen has a ton of fun filling in the ancient heretofore unfilled blanks of this new Star Wars canon’s history.
2.) Kev Walker’s art: The penciling by Kev Walker takes a little getting used to–at first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it almost looks a little cheap or unfinished–but by issue #3, I was entirely on board with his style, particularly in the way that he conveys motion (there’s a panel in the first issue depicting an explosion that ranks, for my money, as one of the most viscerally satisfying moments yet across Marvel’s Star Wars line, and it’s due entirely to the way he frames the characters’ movement).
3.) The tone: One of the best things about Gillen’s “Darth Vader” series was the way that it balanced the darker aspects that inevitably came with its titular character with a lighter, almost more playful sensibility. Tonally, the whole thing just felt utterly unique and unlike anything else we’d yet seen in the Star Wars universe, and that same singularity of vision carries over to this series: Gillen has a way of conveying humor AND seriousness simultaneously in a way that somehow never feels too jokey or heavy-handed, and it makes for a reading experience that’s almost never boring.
I could go on and on, but really, just take my word for it: if you dig Star Wars, you’re going to dig this series. Aphra’s a great character, but it’s a testament to Gillen and Walker’s skills that if you were to take her out of her own series, you’d still be left with something well worth reading.
Basically the Darth Vader book without Darth Vader. Kieron Gillen spins Dr. Aphra off into her own book and she brings, BeeTee, Triple Zero, and Black Krrsantan along for the ride. All of the fantastic quipping and underhandedness is still here with our two murder droids, as is Aphra’s snark. After faking her death over in the Vader comic, Aphra is back to pilfering archaeological treasures to auction off to the highest bidder. Then her dad shows up and blackmails her into helping to go after hi
really liked it
Have you, like many of us, found yourself watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and thinking “You know what would make this better? If we put it in space with an Asian female protagonist and skipped the womanizing?”.
If you answered yes, this book is for you.