Marvel Comics is back with another Star Wars comic, this time the Doctor Aphra series is continued. The 2020 Doctor Aphra series is a reboot of the longstanding series. Yet, the introduction to Doctor Aphra #2 does mention the good doctors past run-ins with Darth Vader. The series is written by Alyssa Wong with the artwork by Marika Cresta and cover by Valentina Remenar. In this series ‘The Rings of Vaale‘ Chelli Aphra is accompanied by archeological student Detta Yad and Professor Okka.
Along with other longstanding companions this posse attempts to find the fabled rings before Ronen Tagge does (heir to the Tagge family wealth). This Doctor Aphra series does not pretend to be high-brow. It is intended mostly for the young adult market. That said, I have enjoyed both issues, there is a good amount of adventure the prior history between characters ensures personal tensions are never far away.
This new Doctor Aphra series draws its strength from the relationship dynamic between Aphra, Okka and Yad. The latter seems taken in by Aphra’s adventurism, seeing it as a aphrodisiac towards obtaining her degree. Okka meanwhile has a more personal history with Aphra. They were once lovers as established on the opening page of issue #2. Both have history with Tagge which the latter exploits by mentioning Aphra’s deceitfulness. This forces a flashback in which we once again see nobody in the Star Wars universe is either purely good or bad. However, with this undercurrent of strive between Aphra and Okka it does beg the question how they can even be on the same quest. Perhaps the story is pushed beyond its limits here. Regardless, the posse quickly reaches the planet Dianth in the Malitoris System. There they find the fabled city of Vaale, in pristine condition.
Quickly, they discover things are not in order. The builders of the rings and the city are gone. Instead the ground is sewn with bones and the walls carved with frightening faces – some of which appear to move. Before long the posse reaches a chamber beyond which access to the rings lies, presumably. In a somewhat common sci-fi trope each member of the posse starts to hallucinate various threats in their vicinity. In a little Indiana Jones style puzzle Aphra manages to open the lock by shooting the power supply. This had the unfortunate consequence that the floor collapses sending Okka, Black and Just Lucky into the depths. At that moment Tagge’s troops show up and detain Aphra and Yad. That leaves the question, “How will they ever get out of this predicament?”.
My opinion of Doctor Aphra #2
One of the best things about Doctor Aphra #2 is the artwork. It was something I saw right away. Some of the full page panels are just gorgeous and do a lot to set the mood. That said, without the presence of Vader or the Empire I do not necessarily get a Star Wars vibe. Most of the characters remain unknowns to me. Also, the fact Aphra is once again looking for this special and powerful object is starting to feel repetitive for the Star Wars universe.
It was a trope The Rise of Skywalker suffered from as well. The most enjoyable aspect of this comic series remains Doctor Aphra herself. Her rogue attitude is a good source of humor, as are the Lesbian undercurrent that are part of her many relationships. Although, I miss the more serious Aphra who had to deal with Vader. So far little in this comic series appears astoundingly important.
While I liked Doctor Aphra #2 I do believe issue #3 should up the ante. The love triangle between Aphra, Okka and Yad should pick up as should Tagge’s direct involvement in the story. Otherwise I would start to wonder there is no purpose to this series. Anyway issue #3 is scheduled for August 26th. So do come back to SciFiEmpire.net to find out how Aphra and companions get out of their predicament.