Comic Review: Doctor Aphra #31

Published: April 24, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer:SIMON SPURRIER
Penciler: Emilio Laiso & Andrea Broccardo
Cover Artist: Ashley Witter

The synopsis;

WORST AMONG EQUALS, PART 6 “WHEREIN: VERY KABOOM” Time’s up. DOCTOR APHRA and TRIPLE-ZERO have mere seconds to remove their bomb implants before its explodo’clock. With undead bounty hunters, monster trappers and the foulest divisions of the IMPERIAL war machine between her and salvation, is this the end for the amoral archaeologist? One thing’s for sure: it’ll come down to who trusts who…and who gets what they deserve…

The story;

The conclusion to Worst Among Equals sees Triple Zero walking away from Aphra, activating the bombs. Through some quick work, Aphra is able to reactivate Beetee and draw Triple Zero back, much to the joy of the viewers of Milvayne. After realising that they don’t have enough time to get to Professor Prexo to deactivate the bombs, Vulaada shows up with her qaberworm (their ride).

Reaching the door to Prexo, they find a note, saying that he is away. Turning around, the group come face to face with stormtroopers, who are very quickly dispatched by Beetee. Vulaada is almost killed, but Aphra selflessly blocks the shot, saving the young girl.

We see these scenes unfold as Minister Pitina Voor’s reflects on these events, wondering what they should do about Milvayne and Aphra.

With the bombs about to explode, Winloss and Nokk deactivate the bombs while also capturing Evazan. The two have been with Prexo, tracing the broadcast signal back to its source.

Back on Milvayne, Triple Zero and Aphra say their goodbyes, as we are left wondering if Aphra survives her wound…

The review;

I didn’t think the last story could be topped, yet Spurrier has led us on a rollercoaster ride this entire arc. This conclusion does not disappoint and once again has such a fast pace to it. What really struck me about this issue, was seeing the three anti-heroes back together: Aphra, Triple Zero and Beetee. It was the old gang from the Darth Vader comics. Although only together for such a short time, the dynamics of the three came through perfectly. I must admit, I wish they would stay together for a bit longer.

Triple Zero once again steals the show, with Beetee in tow. We see that the emotional connection that Triple Zero has is something far beyond his programming. Aphra makes a joke about him empathising, and yet doesn’t he? Triple Zero has grown a lot in this arc and we have delved a lot deeper into what makes him unique. I still think there is a lot to explore, I’m sure we’ll see it again in future issues, particularly now that he knows his past. Along with him, Beetee is back and doing what he does best; destruction! When he started taking out the troopers I let out a little ‘yeah!’

Triple Zero is not the only one to have grown. We see Aphra having matured as a character and thinking of others. With Tolvan surely coming back in the next arc, it will be interesting to see how a slightly less selfish Aphra will deal with her.

And as always, the humour in this issue was excellent. The ‘audience’ of Milvayne works so beautifully, I’m going to be quite sad to miss their reactions (and Ponda’s in this case!). Spurrier also uses it to show Evazan’s true nature, that he can’t really empathise with his ‘players’. Does that make him less emotional than a droid?

What I did like most of all was the character of Voor, who so far we’ve only seen as a mysterious woman. Although I would have liked the mystery to last a little longer, Spurrier has added another layer to her. She is in direct contact with the Emperor. Of course this is setting up the next arc, and I’m very intrigued to see where it will lead.

My first reaction to concluding this review, is that Spurrier has created an exhilarating story that he won’t be able to top. Well I’m pretty sure I said something similar last arc and I’m now having to eat my words. The formula for Aphra has been found and Spurrier is making sure he is sticking to it. The door is completely open to where Doctor Aphra can go next. Spurrier has set a lot of foundation already, but I can’t see how all these pieces will fit, which is half the fun of it. Whatever is next, I’m sure it’ll surpass my expectations of this series.

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.