It’s been a big week for Chelli Lona Aphra. On Tuesday the rogue archaeologist from A Galaxy Far, Far Away– first introduced in 2015’s Star Wars: Darth Vader Marvel comic book– received a five-and-a-half-hour audiobook with a full cast retelling her first few adventures in the Star Wars universe. And now the second issue of the second volume of her own title Star Wars: Doctor Aphra is hitting comic shops.
So far this “Fortune and Fate” arc of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra is a welcome return to the character’s Indiana Jones-inspired roots. Gone are her oppressors Darth Vader and the evil torture droids Triple-Zero and BT-1 (not that we don’t expect their return eventually) and in their place are… well, other archaeologists.
Aphra and her newly assembled team of misfits have been enlisted by a wide-eyed student Detta Yao to track down the legendary Rings of Vaale– a set of ancient artifacts with supposed mystical powers. Together they travel to the planet of Dianth in search of the Lost City of Vaale and encounter a series of bone-chilling phenomena, all the while being pursued by Aphra’s Belloq stand-in Ronen Tagge, an aristocrat whose bizarre ambition is to be the last person to touch valuable relics before he destroys them. This cast of characters is proving itself to be a winning one, with Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan, professional assassin Just Lucky, and another of Aphra’s old flames Professor Professor Eustacia Okka all happily along for the ride.
Where writer Alyssa Wong (The Fisher Queen) spent last issue setting up all the pieces, in Doctor Aphra #2 she skillfully puts them all in motion, and artist Marika Cresta (Marvel’s Fearless) does an excellent job of conveying the sheer eeriness of Dianth and Vaale. I would go so far as to say that more than a few moments in this issue are downright scary, and the imagery of the ruins discovered by Aphra and company won’t soon be escaping my brain. Like a lot of recent stories in Star Wars comics and novels, this chapter– entitled “Haunted”– also drops hints to what we might see in the upcoming High Republic multi-platform initiative from Lucasfilm Publishing. It’s always nice to see these separate entries in the larger canon tied together in such a way, as it gives the impression that there’s a bit more of a grand design from the company going forward after the end of the theatrical sequel trilogy. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how that plan continues to pay off.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #2 is available now wherever comic books are sold.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.