Comic Review – Crimson Dawn Sparks Mutiny in the Tagge Corporation in “Star Wars: Doctor Aphra” (2020) #28

Things are heating up in the criminal organization known as Crimson Dawn’s attempt to sow discord across the galaxy in issue #28 of the second volume of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, released last week by Marvel Comics.

Doctor Aphra #28 begins with the bounty hunter named Boushh and his Ubese cohorts fighting off Crimson Dawn’s forces on aristocrat Domina Tagge’s flagship the Acquisitor.

The Ubese mercenaries help Domina make it out of this mutinous uprising by Crimson Dawn operatives in her corporation alive, though she seems perfectly capable of taking care of herself, as well. She’s even got a sweet experimental weapon called the Tagge Protoblade (borrowed from Marvel’s original 1977 run of Star Wars comics) that she uses to take out the sleeper agents as Boushh and friends fight dutifully at her side. Meanwhile, Sana Starros and her companions Just Lucky, Ariole Yu, Magna Tolvan, and Detta Yao arrive at the Acquisitor on a mission from Domina’s nephew– and chief competitor for her position– Ronen Tagge, dropping out of hyperspace only to find that the Tagge Corporation mutiny is in explosive full swing, with Domina’s starfighters battling each other in the space surrounding her flagship. There’s some great action in this issue (drawn with kinetic energy to spare by artist Minkyu Jung) as these two ragtag teams compete to take over the Acquisitor, racing to the ship’s bridge once Sana and company are on board. Once they come face-to-face, another battle breaks out, of course, interrupted only by the arrival of Ronen himself.

There’s a pretty good twist here regarding just who exactly everybody is actually working for in this tangled web of a scenario, and the issue ends with a fairly satisfying reset of the whole Tagge situation, leaving the Starros crew to go off and tackle their primary objective: freeing the titular Dr. Chelli Aphra (who only appears in the final panel this month) from the evil Spark Eternal and confronting Crimson Dawn leader Qi’ra about her deadly plans. I thought this was another really terrific issue from writer Alyssa Wong, and I love how these storylines are coming together and culminating after building for so long, but my one complaint is the lack of the main character, as mentioned earlier. I don’t have a problem with shifting the focus to the supporting characters, and it’s emblematic of the strength of Wong’s writing that this cast can support an entire issue without Chelli being around, but I just wish the cover were more accurately reflective of that. I’ve grumbled about misleading comic-book covers before, so eventually I suppose I’ll just have to accept that Marvel isn’t always going to give me exactly what’s promised in the marketing art. At the same time, I have to admit I was sort of looking forward to a standoff between the Spark-possessed Aphra and Domina Tagge, as the cover implied. Regardless, this is good stuff that continues to escalate toward an eventual climax that’s sure to pay off in dividends, both here in the pages of Doctor Aphra and in the Star Wars: Hidden Empire miniseries.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #28 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
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 all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.