Doctor Aphra #12: War of The Bounty Hunters – Party Tricks
Domina Tagge now essentially owns Aphra and has sent her on an errand to crash the biggest party in the galaxy. Crimson Dawn is auctioning off Han Solo, who is still frozen in carbonite. Every gangster and criminal organization has shown up to try and bid for the nefarious smuggler turned rebel. Meanwhile Just Lucky closes in on his old mentor at the same event.
The “War of the Bounty Hunters” cross-series event is about a third finished and the stories have certainly been heating up all along the various series. In this issue Aphra and Sana find themselves surrounded by almost everyone they have ever cheated or double crossed all in one room. Tensions run high, however Aphra remains cool and collected. That is, until the Empire shows up. Aphra’s one and only fear is being caught and executed by Darth Vader. He once threw her out of an airlock into space and that is something she will simply never forget. At the same time Just Lucky and Arilole Yu have also spotted their former mentor in the crowd and close in for a confrontation. While both story threads play out for teams Aphra and Lucky, the auction goes on as Han’s own former girlfriend Qi’ra leads the event. On top of all that, a mysterious but familiar stranger approaches Aphra.
Where this issue is lacking in action, it makes up for it in story. The only real action the whole issue has is when Lucky and Yu confront their old teacher. There is no explosions or blaster fire the entire issue. What it does have is a large handful of big characters. Jabba is there, as is the main antagonist of the last story arc for this series, Vukorah of the Broken Clan. There are a few Falleen in attendance too. They are important because the represent the Black Sun crime Syndicate. The period of time “War of the Bounty Hunters” takes place in is effectively replacing the fan favorite story “Shadows of the Empire” from the previous continuity. Black Sun and the Falleen were both originally from that series, so it is nice to see they haven’t been forgotten. The Emperor’s administrator, Sly Moore is also there. Fans will remember her from the prequel films. Qi’ra from the film Solo leads the event, now head of Crimson Dawn. There is also a mysterious stranger in a hood who spots Aphra. She says he has the voice of a clone soldier, but the stranger claims he is not one of them. Who is he? One look at the cover art for this issue should be clue enough. Finally a party crasher in his own right interrupts the soiree. The Dark Lord of the Sith wants Solo for himself. With all those big names, a little break in action is forgivable.
The only drawback to this issue is the same one that has plagued this series, and his name is Just Lucky. The character is just not that interesting. It is still very unclear how his story and Aphra’s will intersect directly. Mostly the two story threads have just run parallel, having zero impact on each other so far. However everything else about the issue is spectacular. Art is on point. Storytelling is mostly engaging. The name dropping is impressive. This chapter strives to define how far-reaching the impact the “War of the Bounty Hunters” has on the galaxy as a whole and suceeds. It ties in characters and events from outside the “Doctor Aphra” series while still remaining a classic Aphra issue. All in all this was a solid issue that also happens to have a lame duck character thread thrown in. Hopefully Just Lucky will have a larger, more interesting role to play sooner than later.
Darth Vader has shown up to claim Solo. All Aphra’s fears have come true. With this issue concluding still very much in the middle of the ongoing story, with all the big name players still there, the next issue is sure to have more fun surprises on hand.
Doctor Aphra #12: A Wrenched Hive of Scum and Villainy
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10