Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Kev Walker, Marc Deering
Colors: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
Aphra’s father has led her straight into danger – of course. Her business on Yavin 4 concluded, Aphra journeys off…in search of one of the most powerful weapons imaginable!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a couple of interesting issues under Doctor Aphra’s belt so far, the fourth installment is a bit lighter in both engagement and entertainment. Gillen is working a larger story here and expanding on the character of Aphra while also juggling the rest of her team and he’s handling it well. But you’ll always get an issue like this from time to time where it’s focused a bit more on the action, which is fine, but lacks a certain something to come together in a really good way. Kev Walker and Marc Deering deliver some great looking sequences and there’s fun to be had here but it’s also the kind of issue that after a certain period of time in the series run that you’ll forget about almost entirely.
I’m definitely enjoying the time in the temple on Yavin 4 as it gives us some post-ANH material to show the fallout from it and the hasty retreat of the Rebels. Here, we get Aphra’s father doing his thing to get what he needs to continue searching for the Ordu but it’s kind of hazy for the most part, just getting data and coordinates from this particular point in space so they can move forward. It’s certainly good fun when they have to get out of there since the Imperials have figured out the ruse with the beast outside and that leads to the action that’s reminiscent of the franchise where it’s quick, fast, and has a good dose of fun. Besides, you have to enjoy Beetee being able to slow down the enemy by killing them while hearing Triple-Zero complain that he’s not meant for running but for the finer things in life, such as peeling skin off of people.
While we get the movement from Aphra and her team to the next location, with some nice timing by Krrnsantan of course, and a look at an intriguing locale coming up, I was more interested in the Imperial side this time around. What we get with Tolvan is someone who is physically interesting with the metal aspects on multiple locations of her body but also her history that’s teased out. Discovering that she was in charge of security on Edeau from Rogue One and ended up on this detail as a form of punishment gives us an idea of her mindset and the kind of dogged nature she might have in going after Aphra and the others. We also get some interesting tidbits of this through Admiral Ozzel with a nod toward Tagge and how Tolvan has managed to survive her experience, something I hope we get more of as the way things ended on that world really left me wanting to see more of the fallout.
Doctor Aphra has the whole galaxy ahead of it and in Kieron Gillen I trust, especially after his Darth Vader run. This is by no means a bad book but it’s a transitional piece more focused on the action than the story. There are some great visual moments, and I love any use of some AT-ATs since it expands their role and scope in the franchise, and some good character bits with my favorite murderbots. I’m also hoping for more Tolvan as the comics franchise really needs some engaging opponents to work with over the long term. Walker and Deering make this fun issue because of their approach and style but even with what they do it’s just kind of a middling piece overall.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 8th, 2017