“WORST AMONG EQUALS” PART THREE! With a huge price on their heads, rogue archaeologist DOCTOR APHRA and her murder-droid companion TRIPLE-ZERO are hunted wherever they run. Of all their pursuers, you might think the deadliest danger comes from the EMPIRE-backed cops…or the deranged undead bounty hunter…or the relentless monster trappers — right? Nope. Because the entire population has tuned in to watch the chase through Triple-Zero’s eyes, and EVERYONE has a shot at that reward…
The comic opens on Beetee-One having Aphra and Triple Zero in his scopes and, after Triple Zero doesn’t believe he will, firing on the pair. While Beetee is making more ammunition, the two try and run, only to have Tam Posla use the force to hold them. Posla is then struck through the chest by Nokk, with her and her husband holding Aphra and Triple Zero at gun point. Before the pair can restrain the doctor and droid, Beetee starts attacking them, allowing Aphra and Triple Zero to get away.
We then find ourselves in the location of Evazan and Ponda, with the doctor repairing his friend’s arm. Starting to worry that Triple Zero may survive, Evazan publicly releases the feed from the droid to the inhabitants of Milvayne City. It gets people’s attention to either watch what is happening or spur them into action to try and make some credits.
We then return to Posla, who by the will of the force (or the fungus) gets back up, hearing what all the inhabitants are saying about the hunt that has been presented to them.
Vulaada finds Aphra and Triple Zero, taking them to a bloat barge so they can plan their next move. However, they soon find themselves facing Posla and a vast array of the city’s members. Triple Zero takes Vulaada hostage to try and prevent them taking him and Aphra, only to find himself being shot by Vulaada. Aphra realises that the girl has betrayed them, but before she can take action, she is knocked out…
The last issue left us on a cliff hanger with Beetee coming back from the dead. This comic doesn’t waste any time in resolving this part of the story. I liked how Triple Zero is very much like us as the reader, believing that there is no way that Beetee would fire on his ‘friend’. I was rather shocked (and indeed rather pleased) when Beetee opened fire. And so begins this part of the story. There are a lot of issues that this story brings up and I found that it all seems centred around Triple Zero, who steals the show.
The big question for me is does Triple Zero feel? We know he is no ordinary droid and that he and Beetee are close, but how far does it go. With Beetee attacking him, we get to see Triple Zero questioning the loyalty of the droid and I think this is enough to show that Triple Zero, at least some part of him, has feelings. He is always finding ways to have a go at Aphra for her sentimentality, is this because it is the part of himself that he hates and so attacks it when he sees it in others? With this, we very briefly get to see the two opposites meet; Triple Zero and Winloss/Nokk. One who loves to kill and a pair that don’t. I do hope these three characters get back together as I think the interaction between them would be incredibly entertaining.
And on that note, the humour in this comic is perfect. It is always one of the highlights of these issues. I’ve said it before, humour in Star Wars has to be done just right, and there are those who can’t do it. Yet, Spurrier has a knack for this that suits both the franchise and the series.
The whole idea of Evazan creating holonet entertainment using Triple Zero and Aphra I think is just perfect, and in some weird way makes complete sense. I hope this idea continues through the rest of the issues, or even we have one of the comics told from the point of view of the holonet.
Aphra definitely takes a back seat in this issue, until the last few pages. The image of Tolvan appearing was very welcome. Even though she is not there (yet- I’m sure after seeing the holonet she may be) she isn’t forgotten and the gentle reminder to readers lets us know she may come back. I also liked the comparison of Aphra and Vulaada. Aphra thinks she is the wise, sagely one, with words of wisdom but in fact she’s too late, Vulaada is Aphra. Again, I think this will come up again during the series.
In the last story arc, and even at the start of this one, a lot of threads were joined together, almost as if the series might be coming to an end. However, this issue starts pulling at new threads that could just about lead us anywhere. I didn’t think that there would be much of a story to tell after the conclusion of the last arc, yet Spurrier is setting a lot of things in motion. It means there is a lot of possibilities still left for this series. Spurrier has proven that he has got the formula for the series working efficiently now, so I wonder where he is planning on going next. This issue has everything a good comic needs; action, suspense, humour and moral questions. What more could you want?
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.