REVIEW: Star Wars Doctor Aphra #1 – “Why?”

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Doctor Aphra

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1
Main Story
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Kev Walker
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Backup Story
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 12/07/16
Rating: Rated T
Price: $4.99

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Plot: After surviving the cold vacuum of space Doctor Aphra returns to her roots as an archaeologist. With her droids 0-0-0 and BT-1 and her Wookie in tow she discovers a rare piece, but finds out it is useless to her now that she is no longer a licenced archaeologist.

Story: The solicitation for this issue read “BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! Following the blockbuster finale of Darth Vader #25, the fan-favorite character begins a new journey in STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1 – the new ongoing series coming this December!” Which had me wondering who are these people that demanded this? In case you didn’t know I am not a fan of the “Doctor”.

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During a podcast that my fellow Marvel Reporter Kat do every week Frontline LIVE, I expressed how I feel about Aphra as a character. I even said I wanted Darth Vader to kill her off and throw her into the cold vacuum of space, so it was a huge tease to see that happen only to have her snatched up and saved without Vader knowing.

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Doctor Aphra is the first original Star Wars character from the comics to get their own series, and I was not impressed. My main issue with Doctor Aphra is that she is boring. She has nothing that draws me in. Why should I care about this character? She is a rip off of two characters made famous by Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones and Han Solo. She has no unique flavor to her. Even her droids are just rip off mirror universe versions of C-3PO and R2-D2. The two tales here try their hardest to really pull me in and feel for her, but the delivery just made me not like her even more.

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The first story isn’t new reader friendly at all. You are thrown right into her story cold and especially in a universe as intricate as the Star Wars Universe, we need that introduction in a first issue. This would have been the perfect place to truly introduce her and allow me to feel for her. Show me who she is, why she is that person. Instead I am thrown into the middle of it all and then at the end we get that glimpse of who she may be, but again, it fell flat. Why should I care that her dad is the opposite of her and pulled her degree and credentials?

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There is a throwaway line in the main story about how she “earned” her degree, and the backup story tells us that tale. Again It felt off. It was very short, and fully wrapped that story up in a nice little package. I think it would have worked better as a flashback, set her up. But to be honest even as a kid she was rotten to the core and has nothing that makes me feel for her. Darth Vader is one of the most vile ruthless villains ever created, but we feel for him, because he was once Anakin. Why should I feel for Aphra when all she ever been was this?

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Art:  The art in both stories was nicely done, I can’t fault them at all. The artist did a great job working on styles that were distinct but didn’t clash too hard with each other, as did the colorist. I just wished the story was as well done as the art. Heck I would have settled for half as well.

Verdict: Overall, do I really need to say it? Well if I must…. I wish Marvel would have left Doctor Aphra floating in the cold void of space set on a course with a sun that is about to go supernova.

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