Story: Simon Spurrier
Art: Caspar Wijngaard
Colors: Lee Roughridge
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
What They Say:
A ROGUE’S END PART 1: A BRAND NEW ARC STARTS HERE! After all she’s been through, professional disaster-zone DOCTOR APHRA is right back where she started: working for DARTH VADER. What villainous use has the dark lord found for her, to make him spare the life of his most annoying foe…? And how long does she have to try and slither out of harm’s way before he decides to finish what he started years ago…?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The previous arc with its media focus was interesting but at the same time it felt somewhat out of place in how it was presented, sillier than it should have been and overly complicated in terms of story. Simon Spurrier prefers a verbose approach, which I generally like, but it can overwhelm sometimes and the heavy exposition there did just that. It’s a bit more streamlined this time as we get into a new arc which has him paired with Caspar Wijngaard on the art duties with Lee Roughridge handling the colors. I’ve enjoyed their artwork previously and it’s a solid enough fit here with a good take on the world design and technology while not having a lot of core characters to adapt, leaving a bit more leeway for interpretation.
The main bit of fun with this book is just in watching how Aphra is handling being a caged bird under Vader’s auspices. Keeping her on the Executor after being captured, she’s having nightmares of so many ways of being killed by him and that’s doing a number on her. While Vulaada tries to help a bit, the only distraction she has is the new assignment she’s been given with a number of other archaeologist types. They’re thinking the Rebels use of ancient sites as bases may be a trend so they’re working a method to try and figure out where they may be. Aphra’s not keen on it because she knows it’s not how they operate but once she discovers she can get off-ship for a bit by being all in on it, she gets behind it so she can get away from Vader for at least a bit. And everyone appreciates her snark not being on the bridge.
There’s a lot to like in how all of this plays out, though I do think her humor would be less tolerated than it is, but I love the way she’s trying to deal with Vader at times and even makes a forward approach try and get things dealt with so she can put the fear behind it. Vader is essentially ghosting her, which is hilarious since the bulk of the book has him saying nothing to her. That just adds to the fear. Things take a turn when they have a mystery person that’s been captured from the sight that Vader is going to interrogate and he brings her along with him, especially since he’s talking Jedi phrases, but the fact that it’s her father? That’s the kind of symmetry that the series works well. I’ll admit, I was glad to see him go when the opening storyline ended as family was introduced too quickly, but a return to it now after dealing with the mother’s side could be interesting.
With a new arc underway, my biggest hope right now is that we get consistent artwork for the run of it. Caspar Wijngaard has done some good work before on the franchise and I like what he brings to the page here in giving us the Executor and some new worlds to delve into a bit. He handles Aphra and Vader well and there’s plenty to like with background/ship design so that everything feels authentic enough. Spurrier’s story gives me hope for some fun ahead as Aphra finds herself in another precarious position that has her closer to Vader than ever. Watching her navigating that tightrope makes it worthwhile for just that alone.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: October 2nd, 2019