Doctor Aphra #36 Review

by NumidianPrime on September 21, 2019

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artists: Wilton Santos, Cris Bolson
Letterer: Joe Caramgana
Publisher: Marvel

In the final installment of the Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon arc, Aphra and Vulaada have turned the Farkiller weapon into Minister Voor and the Empire, and they now find themselves caught in a web of plots and deceptions that have been manipulating them in secret since the start of the arc. 

I was really enjoying the arc in the first couple of issues but I admit that towards the middle it lost me a little bit. It started to feel more like something that I had read before, like the series was starting to become more routine. To a degree I think that's still visible in this issue but overall I thought it was a marked improvement and, as final installments of arcs in this series have been known to do, it recontextualized much of the arc in a good way. 

As to be expected, it's packed with twist after twist. There is one beat that I think I actually liked better before the twist, but for the most part I all thought they were fun and a step up. I didn't have much of an attachment to Minister Voor, she might have been better served coming into the series earlier, but she fulfilled her purpose so I don't have many complaints. Looking at the arc as a whole, I did think Black Krrsantan could have gotten more to do in this arc after an extended absence from the series. It feels like he was partially brought back because the series was ending and they wanted to continue that arc before it was too late. Vulaada did an excellent job being the audience surrogate for the issue, helping us navigate through all the twists. Aphra herself was called on her predictability and got to do something we haven't seen her do before, which I thought was a good development.

The art for this arc has been a bit all over the place due to the number of artists that have contributed to it but I enjoyed most of it so it never got too distracting for me. Laiso's work on the series is missed but it doesn't suffer too much without him. 

Overall it was a solid arc and a good penultimate story for the long running series, if it is coming to a close like all the signs point towards. This issue has a hell of a cliffhangar and I can't think of a more fitting way for the series to end. The shortened issue count worked well for this arc and I'm glad the next arc will be sticking with it. I'm going to miss this series when it's over but it's had a good run and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next, both for publishing and for the charcaters themselves. 

Our Score:


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