Doctor Aphra #8 Review

by Ellie J. on March 24, 2021

Doctor Aphra continues it's recent streak of being a very good, but slow-burn, series. This most recent arc, The Engine Job, has been going on for three issues now, and while none of those three issues have been bad, the arc is really taking its time, and this issue is the first one where I really started to feel like that's a hindrance to the series. In this issue, Aphra and Sana continue their search for the Nihil Path Engine, a macguffin straight from the High Republic era of storytelling, all the while being chased by General Vukorah of the Unbroken Clan (a small crossover with the Bounty Hunters series).

I will say that despite the issue's a-little-too-slow-burn style of writing, Aphra and Sana are still being written perfectly. Alyssa Wong just gets Aphra and her supporting cast, and it's so fun to see them bickering and almost-flirting as they search for the Path Engine. That goes for Just Lucky too, one of Wong's new characters, who has had his own subplot going on simultaneously to Aphra's, and he's become pretty likable over the course over the past eight issues. I have no doubt that he'll become just as well-loved as the rest of Aphra's supporting cast, like Magna Tolvan and Vulaada and everyone's favorite murder droids Triple-Zero and Beetee One.

But still, there's the issue of the pacing. This issue felt like it lasted only a few pages, even though it was the standard 21. Very little progress is made in the plot, and it just ends on another cliffhanger that won't be resolved until next month. The Doctor Aphra series has always done pacing and slow-burn well, but for some reason it's just not landing this time; I'm hoping that changes when the big plot twist and climax of the arc happens, since that's something that seems to happen in every Aphra arc.

In any case, Aphra and Sana get a diagram of the Path Engine and head to their next stop, an auction on Midaar where a fake Path Engine is being sold. Vukorah's going there too, so it seems that there's finally gonna be a big showdown next issue. This issue was... good. Besides the already-talked-about pacing issue, the rest of the writing was great, and the art from Minkyu Jung and Victor Olazaba was really great. I'm still excited for the next issue though, and looking even further, the series is gonna be reintroducing Durge into Canon, something that should come as a welcome surprise to fans of Dark Horse's Republic comic series and the animated Clone Wars series from Genndy Tartakovsky. 

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside