Comic Review: Doctor Aphra #17

Published: February 21, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Penciler: Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist: Ashley Witter

The Synopsis:

Aphra and her new crew are launching a brand-new mission…infiltrating a secret Rebellion training centre. Little did they know they might be in over their heads? Bonus: A new Rebellion leader? Who’s THAT?!

The Story:

Part four of Remastered opens on an x-wing training mission that is happening around an old Trade Federation droid control ship. The ship is under the control of the rebels and flight control informs the training instructor (the general) that some new recruits have arrived to see her. Knowing she doesn’t want to be disturbed, one of the flight control team, a Duros, goes to meet these new recruits.

We quickly learn that these new ‘recruits’ are in fact Doctor Aphra and her team. After explaining how they found the rebels, Posla is greatly admired by the rebel Duros for how he went rogue from the Imperials. It is quite obvious it is all a lie, which Aphra has sliced into the databanks, but it gets them a guide around the control ship. We also see that ‘Ombra’ is also on the ship, hiding.

While taking the tour, Aphra lets a Tooka loose and comes face to face with the general – Hera Syndulla. The Duros apologises to Hera, who quickly realises the team are mercenaries and throws them straight into the brig.

Sitting in her cell with the droid Dek, Aphra isn’t surprised when Ombra comes through the air duct. However, that quickly changes when Tolvan reveals it is actually her, that she has been masquerading herself as Ombra. The two share a quick kiss, before Tolvan demands to know who Aphra is and why her records have been deleted by Darth Vader. Dek explodes a coupling on the ship, resulting in Tolvan having an electric shock and falling unconscious. The doors to the cells are also disabled. Before any rebels show up, Aphra places Tolvan back into the air duct.

As Aphra’s team didn’t leave their cells, Hera gives them a chance to explain why they are here. Aphra states that they have a way into Hivebase-1, but they need help. Although Hera tells them she is listening, Bog releases some weapons from inside his body to give to Sister Six, who quickly stuns the rebels. Aphra and her team get on board their ship, taking Hera with them.

On board the ship, Triple Zero contacts Aphra, who quickly kills the feed; she’s clearly upset. We then see Aphra contacted an Imperial officer, stating that she’d like to trade Hera…

The Review:

Last issue, I was disappointed with this series, the pacing was off and there wasn’t the detail that I’ve come to expect from these comics. Thankfully, this week the writers are back on top form!

The biggest factor for me with this issue was the link between this series and the rest of the Star Wars universe. From the very first panel, the reader is thrown into x-wing training outside a Trade Federation droid control ship. It is the perfect melding of Prequel and Original Trilogy. Further to this, is the inclusion of Hera Syndulla, linking the issue to one of the main characters from the Rebels TV animated series. It has been confirmed for some time that Hera survives the events of the TV show, and to see what her character is doing after those events is a fanboy dream. All these different areas of Star Wars are drawn into this comic with expert precision and it really does work.

What is more, the character of Hera is perfectly written. When she first meets Aphra’s team and realises they’re mercenaries, there is no hesitation, they are sent straight to the brig. I always appreciate when a character is not indecisive! And when Aphra mentions about infiltrating Hivebase-1, it draws Hera’s attention. This is the character from Rebels that fans know.

One of the failings of the last issue was that I didn’t feel I knew the members of Aphra’s team. Having a few less this issue has really helped the writers to focus on the remaining crew and they’ve done a far better job of utilising them. I say writers, because although have Spurrier as the author, Kieron Gillen is also credited in the actual comic itself.

The only downside for me was the art. The close up shots are well drawn and I love seeing Hera visualised in a different medium. However the wide shots leave a little to be desired.

All in all, a much better issue from Doctor Aphra this week, which shows just how good this series can be. Although its main character is nothing but a dot in Star Wars history, the weaving of different areas of the universe makes it a must read for me. Add to that the dark humour, the romantic tension between Aphra and Tolvan and the appearance of Hera Syndulla, you have an issue that is one of the best of the series so far.


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.