Comic Review: Doctor Aphra Volume 4

Rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra had a bit of bad luck at the end of volume three in her solo Marvel/Star Wars series.  Can she con her way out?

Probably, but not without making things worse for herself as she does in Volume 4, subtitled The Catastrophe Con.

At the end of Volume 3, Imperials captured Aphra under an alias and sent her to Accresker Jail, an inescapable prison.  How bad is it?  Well, it’s not a prison that stays in one place.  It’s a mass of junked starships constantly pulled by an Imperial freighter.  The prisoners are connected through explosive implants to specific droids, and these prisoners are routinely sent into dangerous, hostile situations where the prisoners need to take down various Rebels and so forth, where if the Rebels don’t kill the prisoners, then the droids will if the prisoners fall too far behind.

Now, this is Aphra, and she has problems, like how she may or may not be able to blackmail/trick her Imperial girlfriend into rescuing her while both the Rebel Alliance and psychopathic droid Triple Zero are also looking for her.  There’s an “indestructible” space mold with a dead Jedi imprinted on it, a timid shapeshifter prisoner, and a certain Sith Lord may be on his way, all while the Imperials get the idea that Aphra knows something and isn’t talking.  And…I don’t know that I care much.  Si Spurrier took over writing duties for this volume, and I just find myself wondering why I should care about Aphra.  I don’t dislike Aphra or anything, but the series has characters continually tell her what a bad person she is, and while I am sure she isn’t good, she also isn’t as bad as people tell her she is.  She regrets people get hurt, at least a little, when she does selfish things.  She isn’t overtly malicious.  She’s greedy in a Daffy Duck kind of way.  Most of the people who come to bad ends because of her do so because she didn’t put much thought into what she was doing and is mostly just trying to keep herself alive.  Compare her to the likes of Triple Zero or BeeTee or Darth Vader and she isn’t that bad at all.  As such, I don’t know if I will be going any further in this series.  7 out of 10 surprise villain appearances.

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