Comic Review: Doctor Aphra #19

Published: April 25, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen, SIMON SPURRIER
Penciler: Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist: Ashley Witter

The Synopsis:

“REMASTERED” CONTINUES! Evil droid mastermind Triple-Zero has been blackmailing Doctor Aphra into stealing his old memories…which also has included sneaking onto Rebel training grounds run by General Hera Syndulla. Now hunted by both Hera of the Rebellion and Tolvan of the Empire, Aphra’s got a lot on her mind…But if there’s anything to know about the Doctor, it’s that she’s always got tricks up her electro-sleeve!

The Story:

The concluding issue to the Remastered story arc, begins on Hivebase-1, with the remains of Aphra’s team and Hera Syndulla having a blaster fight with the Hivebase leader. Although Hera has Aphra captured, she chooses to let her go in the vain hope that Aphra might be able to save them. Connecting to the base, Aphra begins to steal all the data. The rebellion ship, sabotaged by Aphra, is drawn closer to Hivebase to be used as a battering ram. On-board the rebellion ship, Dek-Nil, Aphra’s constructed droid, begins to play music out of the ship, which destroys the Imperial base with the exception of the part with Aphra and her team.

Three hours later, on-board the Rebel base, Aphra explains to the rebels that she has the data she needs and that they can have the rest. Reluctantly, Hera agrees to let Aphra go but warns her to never show her face again. Six decides to stay with the rebels, rather than join Aphra. With Tam Posla on-board, Aphra flies away…

…to then discover that it wasn’t Posla on-board, but Magna Tolvan. Immediately, the two kiss before we move forward by a couple of days to see Tolvan waking up with Aphra saying goodbye. The two have obviously spent the last couple of days together. Before Aphra goes, she tells Tolvan her real name.

On Son-Tuul with Triple-Zero, Aphra gives the droid his memories and believes that they are now even. Triple-Zero disagrees and explains to Aphra that her actions over the course of the mission have shown that she is exactly like him. Before Triple-Zero can kill Aphra, the Imperials (led by Tolvan) attack him and his gang, having followed a tracking device that was planted on Aphra. Triple—Zero and BT-1 escape without being arrested, claiming they are just droids. Aphra is arrested, but Tolvan provides the Stormtroopers with a fake name before she sends her off to Accresker Jail. Before the issue finishes, we see the droids and rebels both attempting to access the data that Aphra took from Hivebase. Both find that the data is encrypted and that Aphra wants money to have it decrypted…

The Review:

This storyline has had its ups and downs, but for the majority, it has been good. The final issue emanates this completely. On the whole, it is an excellent conclusion with perhaps one or two missteps that let it down.

So let me start with what I didn’t like; how Hivebase-1 was destroyed. Dek-Nil sends out a beam, some sort of music or another that destroys the base. I didn’t get it. It might just be me but it needed more explaining. Now you could argue that explaining it more wouldn’t particularly help the story but it just seemed far-fetched and dare I say it, not Star Wars. Let alone the colour palette of the droid, which also takes me out of the story. That whole part didn’t work for me.

Thankfully, the rest of the issue was superb and helped to get me straight back into the issue. The greatest aspect of this comic are the characters. They were all written true to form and helped to carry this issue. Hera, angry, frustrated and hating Aphra, yet she is still fair and acts as any who watched Rebels would expect. The ruthlessness of Tolvan and the Empire when attacking Triple-Zero’s gang, perfect actions for the Imperial might we all know. And of course, Aphra and Tolvan. The love story between these two has been one of the best written in the Star Wars universe and we see the two finally getting some time together. Yet, as soon as they are together they are apart and leaving readers with the expectation that more will happen. It is this relationship, more than anything else in these stories that keeps bringing me back. The twist at the end, although I probably should have seen coming, was completely unexpected, yet completely Aphra. For characters who have no screen time, whether it be movie or TV, have been so well developed that the writers should give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back.

The artwork was a mixed bag, which is at least an improvement on previous weeks. There are parts where I think the work is sloppy, yet at other times the work is done beautifully. I do hope in the next storyline that the artwork improves, if even just a little.

All in all, a good storyline with a few bumps along the way. It’s clear which direction the next storyline will take and I have to say I’m quite excited for it. With double crossings, people on the hunt for Aphra and a compelling love story, Aphra is sure to go from strength to strength.

Availability:

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.