Doctor Aphra #32 Review

by NumidianPrime on May 09, 2019

Writer: Simon Spurrier

Artist: Wilton Santos, Caspar Wijngaard

Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Publisher: Marvel

This month's issue of Doctor Aphra kicks off a new arc for the series, Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon. Two months after the events of the previous arc, Aphra is back up to her usual amoral antics, now with Vulaada from that arc as her sidekick. 

The issue contains multiple flashbacks to Aphra's past which are probably the highlight for me, even if the present day stuff is still great. It expands on things that we've known about her history for a long time in an emotionally poingant way, and I liked getting a small glimpse at normal civilian life under Imperial reign. 

In the present day, Aphra and Vulaada raid a shrine in the Outer Rim and Aphra discovers an artifact with ties to her past, as seen in the flashback. The issue closes on a surprise return of a couple people that we haven't seen in a little while. I haven't always been as invested in the biggest surprise character as everyone else has been but I'm still looking forward to seeing how this arc plays with them. I do think the position they're in now could make them more interesting to me than they were before. 

I was a bit disappointed when I started the issue and saw that Laiso, the artist of the previous arc, wasn't on the series anymore. I've always thought his art was perfect for the series to the point of being synonumous with it. That said, Santos and Wijngaard did a perfectly fine job with this issue. I particularly liked Wijingaard's work. 

Marvel's Free Comic Book Day sampler contained an interview with Spurrier about this arc that had one detail I'm looking forward to getting more of: there's something the Rebellion should have done immediately after A New Hope but never did, and this issue will go into why. This issue itself doesn't offer any clues that I noticed but I wouldn't be surprised if the title of the arc is tied to it. It's an interesting tease and I'm definitely going to be looking for it in the issues to come. Overall, this issue wasn't too full of surprises and doesn't have too much more to talk about but it is a promising start to a promising arc. Can't wait to read more!

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