Doctor Aphra is a new Star Wars series that poses a few problems for any writer. One is somehow tucking the story between Empire Strikes Back and New Hope even though the characters are never referenced in the films. The second is exploring this universe whilst delivering new information about people and places and not messing up continuity! We check out the second issue to answer the question, is it good?
Doctor Aphra #2 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Check out our preview to find out more.
Why does this book matter?
Kieran Gillen has a unique sort of character with Aphra we just haven’t seen in the universe; she’s somewhat like Han Solo in her proclivity to make a dime, but her specialty isn’t smuggling but artifacts. She understands the very ancient world she lives in and therefore provides a unique prism into this world we all love. After reading this issue, you’re gonna want to look into this prism!
Gillen and artist Kev Walker may have not blown me away with the first issue, but they have by all means done so here. This issue kicks off where the last finished, as Aphra confronts her father for information. From there the story spins into a flashback to a “long, long time ago (have you heard this one before?) which reveals some pretty cool stuff in regards to the Smith and Jedi. As if that wasn’t enough, Gillen uses this story convention to reveal the fickle nature of history and even a hilarious joke too.
Though much of the issue focuses on these flashbacks, Gillen weaves in subtle character work as the dynamic between Aphra and her father takes shape. Throw in the fact that the issue ends with a cliffhanger that’ll get folks giddy (especially if you saw Rogue One) and I find it hard to believe if anyone could find this issue unworthy.
Walker does grand work too, capturing the humor perfectly (that includes BT-1 and 0-0-0 too), the scope of space and the subtle character moments. There’s a nice use of panel spillage in the layouts which makes each page more of a complete artwork that I really enjoyed. There’s some definite Chris Bachalo vibes from his style that I dig too and I’m curious to see more monstrous aliens as the style behooves more imaginative creatures.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Some might argue and have a case for the plot progressing too slowly. I enjoyed this book immensely, but when looking back it doesn’t carry things too far forward.
Is It Good?
Doctor Aphra #2 tops the first issue and then some. Suckers for storytelling need to check out this issue and its use of flashbacks. Given the cliffhanger it’s safe to say this may be one of the more important Star Wars books to read if you want to know it all.