Doctor Aphra: Issue 1 – Fortune and Fate Part 1 The Rings of Vaace

After a lengthy delay due to the COVID menace, we are finally able to get our (metaphorical) hands on the first issue of the new ‘Doctor Aphra’ series. Like the relaunches of the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Darth Vader’ titles, the new ‘Aphra’ series is set between ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ and focuses on Aphra and her new team of rogues.

I came into this issue at a bit of a disadvantage as I have only read the first arc of the original ‘Doctor Aphra’ series as well as ‘The Screaming Citadel’ crossover so what knowledge I have is second or third hand at best, however this isn’t me saying I dislike what I have read, it’s just that it came out at the wrong time for me to buy the comics (I am now making an effort to crack on and read the whole series).

This issue works as a reintroduction to Aphra and her partner in crime, Black Krrsantan as well as their new associate Just Lucky as they pull a job stealing from the Empire on Hoth, their loot contains an artefact which grants them a huge payday.

As the three celebrate they are approached by an archaeology student, Detta Yao who wants Aphra’s help finding some relics, the Rings of Vacce, long believed to be a myth. Aphra agrees, knowing that the payday would be huge but before they can go looking they need one other person, Doctor Eustacia Oklahoman’s and her Droid, TA-418 (same model as BD-1 from ‘Fallen Order), Okka has long believed that the Rings were real and has put a lot of effort researching them and joins the crew in an effort to finally finish her life’s work.

Meanwhile, Ronen Tagge, son of General Tagge is also trying to recruit Okka and has a score to settle with Aphra and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.

As a reintroduction to the character, the issue works and doesn’t work for me. It works in terms of the way it sets up the series, gives us a look at the characters, both old and new and sets up their part in this story quite nicely.

Unfortunately, given the amount of references to characters who may have been involved in the previous run made it a bit of a confusing read for me, seeing as I got one of those references which was about the first storyline.

In terms of the writing, it was well done, excellent pacing, the story didn’t lag whatsoever but I felt that the art wasn’t amazing. There wasn’t a single panel that leapt out at me and made me think “Wow!”, which was unfortunate, but overall the book was enjoyable.

Enjoyable but also underwhelming (for me at least), I’m looking forward to reading this again once I have read the whole of the first run of ‘Doctor Aphra’ so that I can fully understand the context of the new series.

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