Doctor Aphra Vol. 1 – Aphra

Writer – Kieron Gillen

Penciller – Kev Walker

Inkers – Kev Walker & Marc Deering

Colour Artist – Antonio Fabela

Kieron Gillen ended his run on ‘Darth Vader’ with Aphra escaping death in an escape pod. Then, Gillen took his new and original character and brought us a great new series.

The first arc lets us get to know Aphra as an archaeologist, finding pieces and selling them. Granted she is selling them to pay off debts to the scum of the Galaxy.

She is of course joined by her murder droid pair of companions, Bee-Tee and 000 and the Wookiee Bounty Hunter, Black Krrrsantan and this time around she is joined by her father as they go in search of the Ordu Aspectu, which has been Korin’s (her father) obsession for years.

The search takes them to an Imperial Occupied Yavin IV where she gains the attention of the Imperial Captain Magna Tolvan.

From there the team go to the Citadel of Rur where they discover the Ordu’s existence. The Empire arrives and under Tolvan’s orders, attacks teller group. Bee – Tee and 000 are already aboard the Ark Angel, Black Krrsantan makes it back to the ship and leaves, leaving Aphra and Korin to fend for themselves.

They manage to enter the centre of the Citadel and learn that Rur was a disembodied spirit that once was a Jedi but when the Citadel computer was deactivated, the spirit was trapped. However all the Jedi on the Citadel were killed by the Droids that Rur had created.

Aphra manages to shut down the computer again, this time causing the Citadel to self-destruct. Aphra and Korin manage to escape with the Empire but leave Tolvan on an unknown planet whilst Aphra and her father reconnect.

She later sells artefacts she took from the Citadel as well as hides a replica of the Citadel’s computer core in a quarantine safe zone but has kept the real one to sell on the black market.

When I heard this series was starting I hadn’t read much of Gillen’s ‘Darth Vader’ series but was familiar with the character of Aphra and had enjoyed what I had seen so far and immediately put this series on my Comics list.

Knowing she was an archaeologist I hoped for a kind of ‘Indiana Jones’ type series but with a Wookiee and two murder-droids instead of Brody, Short Round and Sallah and in this story arc I was not disappointed. We even got the Star Wars equivalent of Sean Connery’s Henry Jones Sr, and instead of the Nazi’s we got the Empire. And it was good fun.

We get some history on an ancient sect of Force Users, a trip to the Massassi Temple and a look at more of the criminal underworld which is always interesting.

The writing is very well done and the art is solid and it’s so great that this new and original character was so popular that not only did she get her own ongoing series (which has only recently come to an end with a second series about to start soon) but she had been added to games (Star Wars: Force Arena) and has had action figures made by Hasbro.

Of course there are rumours for a Disney+ series but those can be taken with a pinch of salt seeing as almost every character has had a rumoured series being developed.

All in all, a successful outing for Aphra’s solo series, a great achievement for Kieron Gillen in creating a new character that the fans love and a solid start to the series.

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