Comic Review: Doctor Aphra #16

Published: January 31, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Penciler: Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist: Ashley Witter

The Synopsis:

Tensions are high in this galaxy far, far away for Doctor Aphra. She’s got a new master holding her reins…and he’s a Triple-threat. Also – Magna Tolvan. Friend or foe?!

The Story:

Part three of ‘Remastered’ opens with Magna Tolvan watching Aphra and her team (in a holo-recording) as they open the boxes they were carrying last mission.  Tolvan then asks the officer with her if they have a location for where the video was taken. We then see an Imperial shuttle entering hyperspace.

Joining Aphra and her team in real time, we see that the boxes contain Tooka, which are all set to be explosive. The team enter Wat Tambor’s workshop but before they can explore too much, an Imperial shuttle crashes through the roof. A squad of Stormtroopers quickly exit the ship along with Tolvan. Tolvan and Aphra lock eyes before the Stormtroopers open fire on the team. After a few shots are fired, one of the workshop’s security systems is activated by the shuttle, releasing a huge techno worm. Throughout the chaos, Aphra and Tolvan find themselves together, trapped from the main cavern by the creature. Thinking that this is the end for them, the pair kiss.

In the main cavern, one of the members, Ghlast Ombra, has runaway, also thinking that the situation is a lost cause. Through a series of misfiring’s and events, falling rocks from the ceiling crush the creature, disabling it. After checking on her team, Aphra tells Tolvan to go before she is spotted. Unfortunately, she is spotted by Rexa.

The team hear a blaster shot, but with the emergence of Aphra saying everything is fine, the team carry on looting while Aphra gets the data they came for. We see Tolvan holding the helmet Rexa was wearing as she watches the team leave. While the team are loading the ship up, Ombra re-joins the team.

Back aboard the team’s ship, Aphra reports To Triple Zero. She has found his memories but they are located at Hivebase-1, one of the biggest archives in the Empire and the pride of the Tarkin Initiative. With no way of refusing, Aphra comes up with an idea to break into the base and get the memories. While Aphra is updating the team, we see the outline of Tolvan, pretending to be Ombra…

The Review:

After the first two issues of ‘Remastered’ I was eager to read issue three. However, I can’t say much, other than I was a bit disappointed. It’s interesting to note that although the comic says that this issue was written by Gillen and Spurrier, the Marvel website only mentions the latter. And it does feel as if the writing is very lax in parts throughout this issue.

The most obvious thing about this issue is that it felt rushed. Coming straight into the issue, we are thrown back in with Aphra’s team. We’ve barely spent half an issue with them, yet we are supposed to know them by sight. The bickering between them throughout the issue was at times hard to follow because I didn’t know the characters and this let the story down. With so many characters being introduced at once, the writers needed to slow down and allow character moments where we could actually get to know these characters. Through most of the parts focused on these characters, I was either checking the previous issue for a who’s who guide or having that feeling of ‘who cares?’

What is perhaps even more frustrating were the moments with Aphra, which were written beautifully and were exactly what I wanted to see in this issue. The tension between Tolvan and Aphra hits its peak and I’m very excited to see where their journey will take them next.

And this goes back to my point about the team not being dealt with well, when you have the main character’s story being told so well, the moments with the team only serve as a distraction, and not a welcome one. I hope we lose this team soon so the writers can get back to focusing on Tolvan and Aphra, both of who I would like to see far more in future issues. The general direction of the story is a fascinating one, and one I have enjoyed reading. But this issue seemed a bit of a let-down with too much back and forth between characters, when all I wanted was to see the two lead characters. Hopefully, with the survival rate of anyone near Aphra being very low, this won’t take too long!


Doctor Aphra is an ongoing series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.

Mark 'Spooked Hippie' Alders
Mark’s day job is a primary school teacher, where in his classroom you will find life size cut outs of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, trying his best to educate the youth of today in the ways of the force.