Aphra is one of the main original characters created since Marvel took over and she’s the focus of this issue. Having worked with Darth Vader and now in the Rebellion’s custody, she’s being sent off to prison. A prison that’s supposedly impenetrable. Time for an old fashioned prison break! Is it good?
Star Wars #16 (Marvel Comics)
Aphra is being sent to a maximum security prison particularly because she refuses to divulge details to Princess Leia. Those of you reading Darth Vader know he’s sent the best bounty hunters off to capture and kill her. Those same bounty hunters are on there way here.
Why does this book matter?
Jason Aaron has been writing a steady stream of solid Star Wars stories for quite some time now. Leinil Francis Yu has joined him with this issue and I have to say I’m psyched–Yu is a master at drawing detailed technology and there isn’t a science fiction property more in need of an artist like him. He can make top notch tech look great, but also depict crumble and decay in a very realistic way.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a setup issue for sure, but Aaron manages to instill enough character moments to make this feel like more than exposition-heavy comic book land. Details about Aphra and her relationship to another character are a highlight, but we also get some top notch details about the interesting prison. This prison has a unique feature–being near a star–and it’s a rather clever and cool take. It’s assuredly going to bring extra drama to the break out.
On top of that we get a solid scene between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. In what is now standard fashion, Aaron captures Solo’s personality to a T with his attitude and dialogue. It’s a sequence that gets them both in hot water (when does Solo not get people in hot water?), and it’s a fun sequence. This of course leads to what will become an even more complicated and sticky mess.
Leinil Francis Yu draws a solid issue here, especially the prison. When outside this sun blasted station it almost appears to be crumbling under the heat. There’s a neat shadow-like effect he uses due to the station being so close to the star and it looks killer. When characters float outside near it they too have that neat effect. Much of this issue is dialogue heavy and Yu does a great job with likenesses and the acting of the characters. Costumes and the tech they wear are all top notch with incredible detail in the mechanics. He proves once again he’s one of the best in the business these days.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue decidedly lacks action which is unfortunate. While the issue opens on a stand off it’s not very tense given we know how it will end. Most scenes are filled with dialogue which is required to establish new details and plot progression, but this issue can’t shake the feeling that it’s waiting for the cliffhanger so issue #17 can really show off the action packed elements. The problem is you stick a well known character in a prison and we all know where this is going, especially knowing a group of bounty hunters are on their way!
Oh Han, we love you.
Is It Good?
A bit light on action, but this issue introduces a new key detail involving new characters and an incredibly unique prison. Character is key here and it sure looks pretty too.