Simon Spurrier, writer
Andrea Broccardo, pencils
Marc Deering and Scott Hanna, inks
Chris O’Hallaran, colors
VC’s Joe Caramagna, letterer
Previously, Doctor Aphra refused to let the rebels use a piece of Jedi technology called the FarKiller, to build their own Death Star. However, after returning to her home planet, she learned that the new emperor, Patini, put a bounty on her head. In this issue, Doctor Aphra and the Wookie bounty hunter Krsantan steal the Farkiller and attempt to meet members of the Empire to strike a deal and obtain protection from the bounty placed on her head.
Simon Spurrier hits the perfect tone and pace in this issue. The initial confrontation between Captain Tolvan, the Wookie Black Krrsantan, and Aphra was filled with twists that made it feel like part of a classic Star Wars story. The weapons smuggling and secret deal with the Empire brought back thoughts of Han and Chewie and some of their adventures. The dialogue is snappy and sharp. The characters feel nuanced and real. Spurrier has the voice of Aphra down and keeps the dialogue out of the tropes that sometimes plague a Star Wars story.
Doctor Aphra is an interesting character. A female scientist who’s made amazing scientific discoveries. As much as the Wookie brings back a familiar dynamic in the Star Wars universe, what feels like an update is the presence of Aphra’s craftiness and willingness to walk into dangerous places. And, her nemesis, Captain Tolvan, is vicious and cutthroat every bit Aphra’s equal. As is Minister Pitina Voor, the Empire’s chair of the coalition for progress, who sniffs out Aphra’s scheme at the end of the issue.
The art supports the story at every turn. A highlight is the close-ups of character faces and the kinetic way the combat scenes are drawn. The energy flows in ways that feels natural and real. The characters all fit together in well-constructed panels.
Aesthetically, this story emulates the things we have grown to love in this universe, warships, deep space, Wookies, and lived in feeling makes this a must read. I highly recommend this book for fans of Star Wars and Doctor Aphra!