Doctor Aphra #1

Doctor Aphra #1

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Kev Walker and Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Antonio Fabela and Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Kamome Shirahama

Doctor Aphra #1 kicks off a new ongoing series starring one of the standout new characters from the Darth Vader series. But can Aphra stand on her own? Judging by issue #1, I’d say the answer is yes. The Star Wars equivalent of an evil Indiana Jones starts this issue by shooting someone in the back and taking their treasure. Yet Aphra’s luck doesn’t hold up as the galaxy conspires against her. It seems her title of doctor is in question.

This issue opens with a masked individual recovering an object from a giant, underground, mechanical worm creature. It leads to a quick pursuit, some explosives, and then a reveal of who the masked person is. Surprisingly it’s not Aphra. Even more surprisingly, Aphra shows up and shoots the masked guy and takes his prize. Queue two page spread of the series title. It’s a great way to kick things off, setting the mood and the stage for the main character. Aphra is not a good guy and she does not play by the rules.

From there, the story spirals off in a couple directions. Black Krrsantan deals with some thugs, Bee-Tee and Triple Zero do some murdering, an Aphra runs into her dad. There’s action, some humor, some good dialog for the characters, and a couple plot points to begin the story. It’s not a bad start for the series.

The artwork is a little give and take. Sometimes it’s really good, and sometimes it wanders a little. The opening artwork is very well done, and with the minimal dialog, the focus is truly on the art itself. When the faces of the characters are revealed, the style of the artwork takes a somewhat cartoony approach in its depiction of the characters. However, there’s a good level of detail, so the style works. For the most part, the panels look good. Even the ones that skimp a little on the detail still convey the action of the scene. But as the story goes on, some of the Aphra panels leave me wanting. Maybe it’s the cartoony style, maybe it’s the simple coloring, but there’s something that makes those panels look not as good as the others. It’s not a blaring detail so much as a sublte thing. A nitpick, really. Overall the artwork is still pretty good and enjoyable.

As a bonus, there is a mini-story after the main story which shows Aphra years ago at college. It lays a bit of foundation, further illustrating Aphra’s character, and shedding a little light on her origins as a doctor. However the story is short and leaves some unanswered questions. Perhaps those will be picked up on later in the series. Adding to the bonus story is a different artist and colorist, which gives readers something to compare the visuals to. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure that Larroca and Delgado are better than Walker and Fabela. Both styles have their cartoony aspects and their details. Delgado appears to be better with lighting, but I do like Walker and Fabela’s take on the characters.

In the end, I give Doctor Aphra #1 a four out of five metal bikinis. It’s a solid start for the series and there’s a lot for readers to dig into, especially fans of Aphra.

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Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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