Doctor Aphra #7: The Engine Job – Part II: The Offer
After blowing up the sadistic Ronen Tagge, Doctor Aphra found herself the target of every lowlife bounty hunter in the sector. She is ultimately captured by an old partner, Just Lucky, and delivered to Ronen’s aunt Domina. However it seems Domina is not set on revenge, but is impressed with Aphra and offers her a job instead. The only problem is that the best person to help her is also her ex.
Smuggler Sana Starros has been a fixture in the new canon Marvel comics almost since it began. She was originally introduced as Han Solo’s wife, though it turned out that was a fake marriage for a job they were pulling off. Since then, she has shown up as a partner to young Lando Calrissian in the novel Last Shot as well as occasionally getting caught in the path of her disastrous ex-girlfriend, one Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra. Their meeting and early romance told in the Doctor Aphra audiodrama, but the romance did not last long, as Starros soon discovered the archeologist’s talent for backstabbing even those closest to her to accomplish her goals. Later in the previous Doctor Aphra series, she finds more disappointment in the her actions on a prison world. Aphra showing up on her doorstep is not a good sign, and certainly not welcomed. Clearly Sana is a dynamic and well established character, which makes her a strong addition to the cast of this series. That is, if she doesn’t kill Aphra first.
This series has always done a fantastic job referencing and pulling from other Star Wars shows, comics, novels, and films. This chapter is no different. It features a handful of characters from the Aphra series, but also includes a direct nod to the film Solo: A Star Wars Story by including Lady Proxima on Corellea, where that film began. Aside from a Solo prequel novel, the hideous and sly leader of the White Worms criminal organization has not really been seen in many other tales. It’s a nice to her again, but considering this comic series takes place around fifteen years afterSolo, it is also great to see she’s still slithering around the underworld of Corellia. Sadly her part is rather small in this issue. A good portion of it revolves around Lucky’s dealings or Aphra trying to convince Sana to partner with her instead. Hopefully Proxima will return in time to this series or other Star Wars realms. Another delightful reference comes in the object of Aphra’s quest, to find a Nihil designed Path Engine. The Nihil are the main villain from High Republic, which aims to have far reaching implications on every aspect of the greater Star Wars Universe. Of course that series was set centuries before this one, so Aphra’s archeological curiosity may just get the better of her in this series.
Aside from the back and forth between Sana and Aphra, a lot of this issue seemed rushed. It is important to show a glimpse into how Sana feels about Aphra and how badly Aphra needs her help. A good portion of this segment deals with Lucky and his motivation for the nefarious jobs he takes from nasty folks throughout the galaxy. As integral this is to the overall series, once there actually is some action and mayhem, it is far too fast paced and only fills a small handful of pages at the end of the issue. Lady Proxima’s part also seemed to get overshadowed by character and story development, important as that very much is. Despite that, a lot does get established in this one and it certainly sets a good tone for what is to follow. A few new faces show up in this addition as well. Hopefully they plan to spice things up a bit.
Doctor Aphra has managed to convince Sana Starros to help her, but barely. Lucky has found himself a new employer as well. It most likely won’t be long before the partners turned enemies will cross paths again.
Doctor Aphra #7: Relationship Status? It’s Complicated
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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