Doctor Aphra: The Engine Job Part 4

After last issues ridiculous cliffhanger and a very misleading cover for this issue, this is probably my least favourite issue of this series.

After their obvious survival, Aphra and Sana return to the bar to find everyone dead. They decide that their best course of action is to go to Midarr and get the hyperdrive tech from Mr De’rruyet’s facility.

After sneaking in disguised as interns, they find the device which Aphra quickly proves to be a fake. They then confront De’rruyet in his office after he finds them raising his files but the conversation is cut short by an explosion. In the hanger with the device, the wall has been blown open by Vukurah and her crew, demanding the device or they will kill everyone.

I’m really not a fan of obvious cliffhangers, so the beginning of this issue was a tad redundant for me, and of course they were going to get out because thanks to the Solicitations that come out months in advance, we all know what’s coming.

Secondly, having Vukurah appear at the end for a second issue running, where it’s all dramatic and people could die, to me it’s sloppy, just a repeat of the last issue.

What I have enjoyed so far in this run is how fresh each issue has felt for me, but this one feels like a whole lot of retreading ground just to fill an issue count. The return to the bar to find everyone dead, which we were shown last issue, just seemed to fill a panel which didn’t further the story at all.

I get the feeling that with ‘The War of the Bounty Hunters’ crossover imminent, they needed a bit of padding to get the story where it needed to be before the ‘Prelude’ issues, and maybe it’s the filmmaker in me, but I have always worked on the thought that every pert of a story needs to move the story forward and for a bulk of this issue it didn’t feel that way, which was kind of disappointing as the series had been consistently brilliant.

On the plus side, we do get more time with the villain of this arc, Vukurah and even though we’ve seen her wipe out a bar full of innocents and leave Aphra and Sana to die, we actually get to see her ruthlessness when she guns down a hostage just to prove a point.

Hopefully the series will get back to its brilliant self with the next issue, one duff part isn’t enough to keep me from reading it (just look at my thoughts on the current ‘Darth Vader’ series), but also, maybe I should temper my expectations a little.

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