OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, INTO THE HEAT-DEATH OF A PLANET-KILLING METEOR STRIKE! Swindling, backstabbing and even occasionally feeling bad about it, all of DOCTOR APHRA’s attempts to escape her prison-world have failed. But…wait — here comes an Imperial shuttle. Could this be salvation? Wait…those breathing sounds seem familiar…
The fifth part of The Catastrophe Con begins with Aphra placing Sana and Tolvan onto an escape pod. Although the two believe that Aphra is coming with them, Aphra has other ideas and jettisons the pod. Tolvan, starting to get use to how her love does things, quickly jumps out of the pod before it launches and joins Aphra and Lopset in the main launch hangar.
Posla comes to give Aphra a ship and collect Doctor Evazan. As the ship settles down, Lopset turns into Evazan and (without him knowing) Aphra freezes him. Posla steps out of his ship to talk to Aphra. Sensing a worthy host, the force sensitive hook spores leap at the chance to get Posla but are also frozen by Aphra. Happy with the deal, Posla leaves with Lopset and Aphra goes to get he ancient lightsaber from the dead Jedi.
Returning to the ship that Posla left for them, Aphra and Tolvan fly away, only to be shot back down to the prison. The firing vessel lands, ejecting Triple Zero and Beetee, who start wiping out the remaining prisoners.
The prison begins to fall towards the planet, however a tractor beam stops it from colliding. Tolvan admits to Aphra that she thought she had no choice, as Darth Vader lands on the prison. Thinking all is lost, Aphra goes into the prison and tells Tolvan to use the Bor to wipe her brain…
The plot for this issue is extremely short and simple; this is not a bad thing. This issue is heaped with action and you feel that all the threads that have been laid down by Spurrier are finally coming to fruition. In my last few reviews, I’ve said that Spurrier has really found his footing with Doctor Aphra and this issue really showcases how skilled he has become at navigating the story and the characters.
The first thing that is done very well, is losing Sana. Although the love triangle between Sana, Tolvan and Aphra has been enjoyable, I think it would become too repetitive, too quickly. The character has a few brief panels before Spurrier decides to give her exit. This allows the story to once again focus on Tolvan and Aphra, which is exactly what it needs at this point. We are able to see just how much Aphra thinks of Tolvan, especially when she tries to put her on the escape pod. She’s not trying to get rid of her, but rather trying to get her somewhere safe. What was also good to see was that Tolvan won’t let her go. This is a romance that keeps enticing you to read more.
The humour in these issues just keeps getting better and better and the moments with Lopset were fantastic. Not only that, but the irony that Posla is so convinced that Aphra won’t betray him is very well written. Even though these characters know each other, Posla still wants to trust Aphra.
The entrances of all the characters was brilliant. The art helped greatly in this. Seeing Triple Zero and Beetee doing what they do best was a welcome return, as was Vader coming out of his shuttle ready to repeat his performance in Rogue One all over again. It’s like a game of chess, and Spurrier is moving all his key pieces for the final attack. With all these characters coming back into the spotlight, and all in the same place, I can only imagine the kind of finale we will be getting next issue.
However, the most jaw dropping moment of the comic is Aphra’s final plan. To use the Bor to wipe her memory is unexpected, as well as the preview for the following issue. Is it perhaps too easy to predict that the spores will infest a wiped Aphra? I’m sort of hoping so, but then on the other hand I sort of do want to see that!
I can’t stress how excited I am for the next issue as there seems to be so much that could happen. The relationship of Aphra and Tolvan could be wiped clean, Aphra could become the embodiment of a Jedi and try and fight Vader, Triple Zero and Beetee could have an all-out fight with Vader, the possibilities are endless. And that for me is one of the most appealing aspects of this series. The fate of almost every character is left unknown, meaning that this series can go in any direction it wishes. And that’s what makes the current set up so exciting. With only one comic to resolve some of these issues, I’m not quite sure how Spurrier is going to do it, but I am cautiously optimistic that issue twenty-five could be one of the most explosive issues the Doctor Aphra series has had 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.