In Marvel’s newest Star Wars title, Doctor Aphra #1, fans of the Darth Vader comic have reason to rejoice—the morally dubious Aphra is heading up her own series. A bold move, I think, since the good Doctor is basically a brand-new addition to a well-established Star Wars world. Fortunately, Aphra is such a well-developed and likable character she should have no problem carrying her solo title.

For the unacquainted, Doctor Aphra is a PhD in archaeology but that is where her legitimate attributes end. She’s a hustler, a backstabber and an opportunist. Sound familiar? (A quick look at the cover art for issue #1 and all doubts about her being a female Han Solo will disappear) She recently escaped with her life after an unamicable separation from her partnership with Darth Vader, something that most could not boast. Now free from her bond to Vader, she is able to roam the galaxy in search of wealth.

At her side are the usual suspects that we’ve come to expect a smuggler to have: a large Wookiee (Black Krrsantan, to whom Aphra owes a life debt), BT-1 and 0-0-0 (the most engaging, homicidal droid paring since…ever). Barely able to refrain from double-crossing each another, they make up a foursome bent on adventure, plunder and murder.

That is to say, this is a violent title. Aphra isn’t a role-model, though as the father of a daughter, I can see how young females might see her as such. I’m just saying don’t let a young impressionable mind near this title. From Triple-Zero’s callous portrayal of mayhem to Aphra’s ease with the trigger, the teen rating on this title is well earned.

In her debut issue, Aphra “finds” an ancient relic that should fetch quite a handsome bounty, but she is intercepted by a gang henchman that prevents her from reaching her goal. Bearing similarities to Raider of the Lost Ark and A New Hope readers will find themselves rooting for the Doctor, even surprised at the issue’s twist ending. Some questions arise in the course of the story about how Aphra gained her doctorate, but hold on until the end, where a bonus story returns readers to Aphra’s school days and illustrates exactly how far back her cheating ways went.

I’m excited to see a new Star Wars series born with an entirely original character. Aphra was a fun part of the Vader series and adds a new yet familiar way to expand on the Galaxy Far Far Away. I feel like she is what Han Solo would have become had he not been enlisted to help the Rebellion.

Check out Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, available now in comic book stores everywhere.



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