Doctor Aphra #40 Review

by Ellie J. on December 13, 2019

Author: Si Spurrier
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Well, this is it. After 40 issues, Doctor Aphra's first comic series is coming to an end. Aphra's story started back in Darth Vader, when Vader hired her to do his bidding. She became so popular that she got her own series, which has been one of Marvel's most popular Star Wars series, despite it not featuring any characters from the movies. Fast-forward to now, and not only is she getting a second series set after Empire Strikes Back, but it's even rumored that she'll be getting a live-action TV show on Disney+! But back to #40.

This issue wraps up the Aphra's story during the ANH-ESB era, and it starts in classic Aphra fashion: Aphra leaving a goodbye message. She says that it's all her fault (as it usually is), and says that they (Tolvan, Vulaada, and her dad) will be safer without her around. She leaves it for them just before leading Vader on her newest wild goose chase; she found out that the Rebel base is on Hoth earlier, so she leads him to Tython, another cold and snowy planet. She uses the traps inside a temple there to get away from him, with the help of Triple-0 and BT-1, and traps him under a giant Kyberite.

The Kyberite gives him a vision of all the bad choices he's made in his life. His past confronting him and the two murder-droids attacking him are enough to keep him from killing Aphra. The final step of her plan is to electrocute Vader into near-unconsciousness, and use the opportunity to do something entirely new for her:......... do something good. Over the course of the series, she's always looked out for herself, coming close to doing good but never actually doing so unless it helped her. But now, she risks her life to stop Vader from finding Hoth by scrambling all the probe droid data. Before she leaves, she tells Vader that he's the best thing that ever happened to her, because despite the constant threat of death, it helped her start becoming a good person. 

The issue ends with her escaping in a TIE Striker with the company of Triple-0's severed head and BT-1's processor chip. She goes out into the stars, off on her next adventure...... and that's Doctor Aphra, Vol 1. I absolutely loved this issue, and this whole arc really. Aphra is one of my favorite canon characters, and this series one of my favorite canon comics. The series did slow down a little the past few arcs, but this last one knocked it out of the park; it's Aphra at it's best. I love that it ended with Aphra doing something selfless and good for the first time; I really hope that the relaunch next April keeps that character development going, even though Aphra being a morally gray character is kinda her thing. This issue was a perfect finale for the series, and I hope Empire Ascendant and the relaunch are just as good.

Our Score:


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