“Doctor Aphra” #2 Review

Writing by: Alyssa Wong

Art by: Marika Cresta

Color by: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letters by: Joe Caramanga

The new series starring welcome-addition-to-the-Star Wars-universe Doctor Aphra continues to provide intriguing adventure and a glance into the fraught relationships inside the halls of academia. It’s an enjoyable read for serious and casual Star Wars fans alike.

Issue #2, “Haunted,” finds Aphra and her crew getting closer to finding the object of their expedition, the Rings of Vaale. When used correctly, the Rings grant the wearer eternal riches, eternal life, and incredible magical powers. Using the rings incorrectly leads to madness.

Isn’t that always the way?

Accompanying Aphra are two new characters from her academic past. Detta Yao is a graduate student, and fan girl who once took a class taught by Doctor Aphra, wanting to write her thesis on the Rings. Doctor Eustacia Okka hopes the Rings’ discovery will help her regain her reputation in her academic field. The personal relationships Aphra has with both characters make this much more than a hunt for a MacGuffin.

I appreciate the behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of an academic, which is often a minefield of conflicting personal agendas and silent battles. The three archeologists each have different priorities on this mission, and it will be interesting to see how they pan out going forward. Like the spaces they are exploring, the characters are deeply haunted. Coming to terms with the decisions they’ve made in the past, how they’ve hurt people, and how they can move forward, is as important to the story as the Rings.

Doctor Aphra and Black Krrsantan on the hunt for riches and eternal life

Visually, Doctor Aphra continues to attract gifted artists. Cresta’s work hits a sweet spot between realism and cartooning, and Rosenberg deftly establishes the color pallets of offices, then outer space, then underground ruins. The mood stays attractively light and well-lit, even when the zombies show up.

Verdict: Doctor Aphra continues to be one of the most pleasurable reads of my pull box each month. This book is a BUY.

Jason Kahler is a writer and scholar who lives in Michigan. His latest work is forthcoming in the book "How to Read and Analyze Comics" from SequArt. His poem, "After National Geographic," will soon appear in an issue of Analog…

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