Written by Chris Micieli
What I like best about this cover is it introduces us to the team. Aphra might be the leader and the namesake of the comic, but the whole is made up by the sum of its parts. Droids Triple Zero and Beetee along with Wookie Black Krrsantan are just as important to this series as Aphra herself. So to see them featured in the premier issue is a nice sight.
Best Variant Issue
Elsa Charretier Issue. Fans of the Darth Vader series are already familiar with exactly who Doctor Aphra is and her unceremonious exit from that series left a mark with people who had become enamored with the character. We don’t know if Vader will make an appearance (if he does it would immediately be the best moment of the series, I’ll explain why later) but to put him on the front of an Aphra issue might work in two ways. One as a nod to the Vader series and the other to just get Vader on a cover. Like sex, Vader sells.
Think of Triple Zero and Beetee as 3PO and R2-D2, respectively, but ruthless versions of those well known Droids. Case in point, Triple Zero and Beetee tell Aphra they need to go into town for supplies. What they are really going into town for is much more brutal and something I won’t spoil. We’ve come to know Droids as friendly and servant like thanks to R2 and 3PO. So to see Droids that are the total opposite is at first shocking and a little bit welcoming. R2 and 3PO were of great importance to Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance in general. Triple Zero and Beetee will be just as important to Aphra.
What I Like
The absolute best part of this series is that it’s the first Star Wars comic series based on a character that were created in the comics. Aphra was created for the Vader series so that was the first time anyone met her. It looks like Marvel was finally happy with and is taking a chance on their end of the Star Wars universe, and it’s time. They have done an incredible job adding to the lore of Star Wars, and to their credit they didn’t try to shake the apple tree right off the bat and run in a million different directions and create a million new and different characters. They gave us characters we knew well and put them in a new story. It was perfect. But now is the time to break away from that and start to stand on their own within the Star Wars world. If we are getting movies like Rogue One that introduce us to a new story and characters, than the comics can do the same.
I also need to mention a small but creative section of the issue that shows the writer’s attention to detail. When Triple Zero and Beetee go into town for those “supplies”, Aphra asks them almost sarcastically to grab her a popsicle, fast forward to a page later when the gang is driving to a location, we see Aphra in the driver’s seat holding a popsicle. There’s no mention of it in the dialog at all. It may be small, but if the writers are going to have details like that for something so small we should all have a keen eye for some other easter eggs.
What I didn’t like
From an action standpoint, issue #1 was a little bit lacking. In place of action sequences we have a lot of dialog that helps us get to know Aphra on a deeper level. She’s a sarcastic person and that comes across on multiple pages, and the sole action sequence, as short as it is, doesn’t include her specifically. It’s early however and it’s Star Wars, the action is just around the corner.
Its going to take some time for me and I assume fans of Star Wars to have a series dedicated to characters created totally for this comic. That was evident for me anyway at the conclusion of issue #1. Think of Aphra as a smaller time female version of Han Solo. She beats her own drum and we don’t know much about her past. So to have her father show up and offer her some help almost presenting himself as a spiritual being is something that has me interested.
What I’m Looking Forward To
How long can this series go without bringing in the characters we have come to know and love from the Star Wars universe. Vader thinks she’s dead after she faked her own killing in the Vader series, so if he were to return at some point it would be an amazing moment. Aside from Vader will Aphra run into any major or even minor characters from Star Wars? Personally, I would like to see it, but somewhere down the road. Let these characters get their own identity and footing before we rely on the star power of people like Vader, Luke or Solo.