Kieron Gillen - writer
Kev Walker - artist
One of the more delightful surprises in my reading stack has been Doctor Aphra. The recent incarnation of Star Wars comics have, overall, been good to excellent. Marvel has put its full force of top quality writers and artists behind this corner of their comics division. With Kieron Gillen writing and Kev Walker doing the art, you’d think that this would be a title that everyone is talking about but unfortunately it’s not getting the attention that it deserves.
The best way to describe Doctor Aphra is “a female Indiana Jones set in the Star Wars universe,” or “Tomb Raider in space with a sprinkle of Wookie dipped in the Dark Side.” The titular character Doctor Aphra appeared as a supporting character in the revamped Star Wars and Darth Vader solo series. She was hired / forced (depending on how you look at it) to work for Darth Vader. After her role was complete, I didn’t think much would come of this character.
I put off reading the first trade, titled simply “Ahpra” (collects #1-6), for a while. I enjoy the Star Wars books but when it comes to reading the offshoot titles, I’ll let them build up and go on a Star Wars binge. This is when I’ll catch up on the Lando’s, Chewbacca’s, Princess Leah’s, etc. of the Star Wars universe. Doctor Aphra was such a surprise because it is exciting, funny and expands on her own story.
Taking place between during the time of the original trilogies, it’s a period we’re familiar with but Aphra’s story isn’t beholden to any of the plot points that sometimes traps the other character’s storylines. We know where the likes of Luke, Leia, Vader, Solo… are heading but that’s not the case with the dear Doctor. She’s even amassed her own rag tag crew of Triple-Zero and Beetee (the very evil versions of C-3PO and R2-D2) and the equally villainous Black Krrsantan (evil Chewbacca). Mix in a few other familiar faces and her own family issues, Doctor Aphra is a great way to explore the universe and tell new stories not involving the Skywalker clan. With the recent news that Disney is going to make new movies set in the Star Wars universe but are sans-Skywalker centric, this is hopefully the kind of adventures we can expect.
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