Comic Review: Doctor Aphra #33

Published: June 19, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: SIMON SPURRIER
Penciler: Wilton Santos, Caspar Wijngaard and Andrea Broccardo
Cover Artist: Ashley Witter

The synopsis;

“UNSPEAKABLE REBEL SUPERWEAPON” PART 2! Counting the cost of her incorrigible thievery, sticky-fingered archaeologist DOCTOR APHRA is at the mercy of REBEL HIGH COMMAND. But things are about to get stickier. What’s the one thing every galactic treasure hunter knows for sure? EXES NEVER MARK THE SPOT.

The review;

Last week I mentioned that Doctor Aphra had taken a definite shift from the last few action-packed story arcs. The second part of ‘Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon,’ continues this change in direction. There is some action, but this is delving deeper into where the plot is heading, as well as into Aphra herself.

We get to see how part of the Rebellion works and it is Cracken that really steals the show for me. We know that, at times, the Rebellion has been fractured and it is interesting to see Cracken having to hide things from Mon Mothma. He is someone who knows just how far the Rebellion should go, even though it’s not what Mothma would want. This is a side to the Rebels that we saw in Rogue One with their intelligence. I also thing, some of it is very reminiscent of the Partisans, who always seem to go a bit too far. As we don’t know much about Cracken, it is interesting to see how he thinks.

Coupled with this are the flashbacks that help us see why Aphra is the way she is. In this issue, it is played off Cracken, who merely supports exactly what Aphra’s mother has explained to her all along. There is logic in her words and it is difficult to fault Aphra for the way she thinks when she has been raised in such a way. To then see the proof of what she is saying by repeating it when Cracken speaks, really brings home Aphra’s thought process and why she acts the way she does.

It is great seeing Tolvan back, although I wasn’t quite expecting her to act the way she was. She is burying her head in her work, but is that all? Surely there will be more to it than just that? I hope so! The humour between her and Aphra is always superb and I still think this is one of the most compelling relationships in the whole of the Star Wars universe

There are three artists in this issue, all taking on different parts of the story. I never felt phased by this and the issue felt coherent. I like that with the new type of story, the art is also fresh and different. There are certain scenes that are splendid and the use of shadows, particularly with the Tolvan parts is highly effective.

Spurrier has really steered Doctor Aphra in the right direction for several arcs. Having a change in pace and direction can sometimes be problematic, yet it is used superbly here. This is a different side to Aphra as a character and a different side to Aphra the comic series. It maybe jarring to some fans, but I think it is needed for the series. The flashbacks on Aphra’s life are very effective and do hope they continue through this arc. My only complaint, and its minor, is I want to see more of Tolvan and Aphra. I understand at the moment why this has not been the case, but I feel that we’ve had enough of a gap (as well as the characters having enough of a gap) that we now need to see more, a lot more! And I’m sure we will. For now, I will sit back and enjoy the ride, though different it may be…

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.