Doctor Aphra #4 Fate and Fortune - Part 4: The Deal
After finally capturing their prize in one of The Rings of Vaale, Aphra’s crew find themselves reunited but betrayed by one of their own, the aptly named Just Lucky. Just Lucky and his ambush crew take the Ring of Fortune and head to Canto Bight for their reward. Inside a seemingly haunted buried city of the dead, Aphra seeks a way out.
This portion of the larger arc does a really fantastic job of wrapping up the last conflict, moving right along to the next locale, and untimely the building to the climax of the story. Answers to a lot of the mysteries of the Lost City of Vaale are given as the gang crypt-crawls their way to safety. This takes up about half of the issue. The second half involves a risky scheme to get Just Lucky and Ronen Tagge, power-mad villain to archeologists and artists all over the galaxy, just where they want them. Tagge is known for collecting rare items simply to destroy them in front of the people who love them the most. Aphra and company know this. They plot to take advantage of that. This leads all to Tagge’s home base, Canto Bight.
This part of the story, and the arc as a whole, has a very atypical aspect to it as far as most mainstream Star Wars comics go. It clearly has nods to the Star Wars galaxy all throughout. Familiar alien species in Just Lucky’s group as well as the location Canto Bight from “The Last Jedi” are there to firmly ground the issue in the Star Wars universe, but mostly it has been tomb raiding, ghost dodging, and backstabbing the whole way along. These aren’t things Star Wars usually is known for. Yet some of the best Star Wars stories come from coloring outside the Star Wars lines while fully anchored to the greater part of the universe. This issue bring in a huge example of this when it directly and physically references Jedi of the High Republic, a new multimedia edition to the new canon that takes place two hundred years before the films. The books and comic series for it were delayed more drastically that the Aphra comic series. They were scheduled ahead, or at least alongside this series. This would have probably given a parallel feeling to this issue, but instead only adds to the mystery of The High Republic series, yet to be released.
Another great job by the writing and art group. This instalment was lacking in action, but more than made up for in simple character definition, both narratively and artistically. Lots of great facial expressions and reactions in this one. That trait is ever so important in telling a visual tale. On top of the art, the story itself was crafted in a way to solidify all the characters stances and roles. This is an important because the conclusion of this arc is looming, and it will be handy to know who the real good guys are and who the real bad guys are.
The latest Aphra tale ends with a set up to a seemingly grand conclusion. With only two issues to go, it’s all down hill from here. In this case, “downhill” is more like a rollercoaster speeding to a rewarding chaos. If past history is any indication, Tagge and his cronies had better beware. Trapped in a corner is where Doctor Aphra does all her best work.
Doctor Aphra #4: Trapped Like Womp Rats
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 7/10
Color - 7/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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