Doctor Aphra #31 Review

by NumidianPrime on April 25, 2019

Writer: Simon Spurrier

Artist: Emilio Laiso, Andrea Broccardo

Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Publisher: Marvel

This issue of Doctor Aphra brings an end to the six-part Worst Among Equals arc. The timer in the bombs inside Aphra and Triple Zero installed by Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba is reaching the end of its countdown immediately after a massive revelation that has shaken Triple Zero to his core. Aphra has to find a way to snap the droid out of his new depression before he sets off the timer on his own, and convince him to work with her to get the bombs out.

One of the things that I'm finding I'm really enjoying about the series right now is how self contained it is. It still has familiar concepts and characters but it also has the distinction of being the first ongoing Star Wars series from Marvel focused on an original character, with a mostly original supporting cast. I really like stories that carve out their own locations and characters in familiar time periods, it's part of why I enjoy the Resistance series and why I'm looking forward to the Jedi: Fallen Order game a lot. This arc especially has been set entirely on Milvayne, a planet that despite going back a long time as a name has never been visited before.

The character work for a self contained series like this obviously has to be great because it can't rely on nostalgia or peoples' feelings for characters they've known for years, the series has to make people care about a relatively new cast. The series definitely delivers. Both Aphra and Triple Zero have gone really interesting places in their stories during this arc. I especially never expected to see Triple Zero do the things he does in this issue, but it still feels earned. 

The new character we meet this issue is also intriguing. Looking back I should have seen the ending coming because of her title but it didn't click for me until the very last page. It definitely makes me really excited to see what happens next.

I do think this arc will be a lot more fun to read in a trade paperback once that comes out in a few months. As I've said in the past, the urgency of the bomb countdown has a hard time coming across when you're reading six parts of a story spread across six months. I also don't think the cliffhangar was necessary or particularly earned, it felt a bit cheap. We know what's going to happen already, I think I would have preferred a more direct setup for where Aphra is going next. 

That said, I still really enjoyed this issue and this arc. There are a number of other funny moments and twists and character beats in this issue alone that I enjoyed a lot. The art is great as usual, I hope Laiso doesn't leave the series any time soon, especially considering I don't enjoy a lot of the art from other Star Wars books right now. This arc is most likely my favorite of the series so far, but I'll have to ensure that I do enjoy it as much as I'm expecting as a trade before I decide that for sure. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where the series goes next. 

Our Score:


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