Friday, December 22, 2017



[This review was originally posted on Patreon. Visit the "Star Wars Central" review page is here.]

WRITER: Kieron Gillen
ART: Kev Walker; Salvador Larroca
COLORS: Antonio Fabela; Edgar Delgado
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Kamome Shirahama
VARIANT COVERS: Rod Reis; John Tyler Christopher; Salvador Larroca; Elsa Charretier; Jamie McKelvie; Rafael Albuquerque; Ashley Witter; Kamome Shirahama
44pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (February 2017)

Rated “T”

Aphra “Part 1”

Rogue archaeologist, Doctor Aphra, first appeared in Marvel Comics' Darth Vader #3.  She became Darth Vader's lackey and eventually his enemy.  Darth Vader the comic book recently ended, and its replacement is a new comic book, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Marvel Comics' first ongoing series starring an original Star Wars character created in the Star Wars comic books.  Doctor Aphra is written by Kieron Gillen; drawn by Kev Walker; colored by Antonio Fabela; and lettered by Joe Caramagna.

Doctor Aphra #1 opens in the aftermath of Darth Vader #25.  Aphra barely escaped Darth Vader's clutches with her life, and she knows if he discovers that she is not dead, he will hunt her down.  Aphra returns to what she does best – search the galaxy for rare artifacts.  She is now locating and liberating rare archaeological treasures; her companions are the homicidal droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1 (who also debuted in Darth Vader #3) and the Wookiee warrior, Krrsantan.  Her latest artifact find will bring her nothing but trouble, as she discovers that everyone and no one wants it.

I really like the cover art for Doctor Aphra #1, which is drawn and colored by Kamome Shirahama.  It is not a particularly inventive visual design, but it is striking in its execution.  I also like the interior art by Kev Walker, whose graphic style reminds me of the work of Jamie Hewlett (the co-creator with Alan Martin of Tank Girl).  Walker and colorist Antonio Fabela's work on this first issue would been a good fit for the best days of the science fiction and fantasy anthology magazine, Heavy Metal.

In fact, I think that in some ways,this Doctor Aphra comic book will be as much like Tank Girl, Heavy Metal, and various British and European science fiction comics as it will be a Star Wars comic book.  This title may be something of a risk for Marvel, in terms of Star Wars comic books, but it is good to see that they are willing to be a bit adventurous with their Star Wars titles.  The prior license holder for Star Wars comic books, Dark Horse Comics, was quite adventurous in the kind of Star Wars titles that it produced for two decades.

As a nice extra, there is a back-up story featuring a younger Doctor Aphra, and it is produced by the Darth Vader creative team of Gillen; artist Salvador Larroca, and colorist Edgar Delgado.  This story assures me that Doctor Aphra is more likely than not to be a good Star Wars comic book.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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