Story: Simon Spurrier
Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
“WORST AMONG EQUALS” PART 5: PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER! DOCTOR APHRA’s race across an alien city continues, pursued by innumerable enemies – not least the EMPIRE’S villainous propaganda division. But with the timer ticking down on the bomb in her throat, the truest horror might come from some unscheduled soul-searching. Could it be that her psychotic droid companion TRIPLE-ZERO is the closest thing she has (or deserves) to a true soulmate?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As we hit the penultimate installment of this arc, Simon Spurrier gives us a lot of downtime and dialogue to work through so much of what’s been going on. We’ve had a lot of crazy events going on with his arc and what Aphra and Trip have been through and getting a little breathing room is useful. Emilio Laiso has another solid installment as well with some creative pages, especially for Trip’s memory moment, where we get a good flow to all that’s going on and a natural sense of movement and back and forth between all of those talking (and watching) from afar. While this still isn’t my favorite arc in the series it’s an installment that helps to pull some important things together at long last.
The introduction of the public relations side of the Empire the last time around was interesting and they get to handle things right out of the gate here. They’ve actually got a good deal on the table for Aphra but she’s convinced her lot is with Trip at this point and uses a failsafe she put in to keep her alive and knock out everyone else while Trip is out of commission. Of course, it takes her down hard with her legs number for a couple of hours – and her being knocked out for three. During which Trip enjoys his time in taking apart everyone there from the Empire, all presumably on camera no less. The revulsion Aphra feels when she sees all of it resonates well since the creative keeps it obscured and at a distance rather than engaging in it since Star Wars Horror is not (yet) a thing. Trip’s reactions to her reactions and “leakage” continue to be amusing though.
The main thrust of this book comes down to the way that Aphra has realized that through all of this and recent times that Triple-Zero is the only one she really feels some kinship with – which kind of disturbs Trip for obvious reasons. But it turns out that she’s taking this as an opportunity to really show it to him by revealing that Beetee had his memories in him and wasn’t able to crack it, but she’s able to and willing to give it to him. The opportunity for Trip to be able to see back to his creation and everything in between that was lost to him is a huge moment and I love the way that we get the exploration of it all, right down to his being a reject instead of the intended goal by his maker. It’s something that doesn’t exactly flip a switch in his mind or anything but it sets him to understanding himself more and moving forward – and away from Aphra! Which isn’t good with those distance tagged bombs they both have.
While this arc isn’t working for me in total, I am definitely enjoying this issue as it digs into Triple-Zero’s past and the relationship that exists between him and Aphra. Aphra’s realizing more and more about herself, things that opened up more after meeting Tolvan, and seeing that all play out here is definitely interesting and has me wondering if she really is going to be a different person by the time this arc wraps up and moves forward into the next piece. Spurrier handles the dialogue-heavy installment well and digs into both characters with what makes them tick and their relationship to be as interesting as it is. Laiso handles all of this material well, too, since it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make engaging from a visual standpoint. But with some creative moments and nods to other characters out in the galaxy, it’s able to shake things up just enough.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 27th, 2019