by Mark Mitchell
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker’s Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 10 once again illustrates that the joys of these Star Wars comics are frequently not in their ostensible stars. Chelli Aphra as a character is interesting enough to do no harm, but the real highlights of the issue are the supporting cast; Toov and his Iron Lung of The Future, the Ezaraa and their delusions of grandeur, BeeTee and Triple-Zero’s turning their boredom into dangerous tinkering, each is much more interesting than the mechanizations of the plot.
This isn’t a knock against Doctor Aphra 10. Gillen and Walker clearly devised the issue as a showcase for their colorful cast, and they succeed in that regard. The previous issue even ended with the promise that Darth Vader will be crashing the party soon, but his presence isn’t missed here at all. But I do wonder if it’s a problem on a larger level that many of the current Star Wars books feature main characters that feel a bit beside the point. Because while it works out great for casual readers like myself who can drop in and out of series without missing much, it also points to a more troubling trend in Star Wars comics. I’m loathe to point to the old Expanded Universe as a positive example of anything, but it was at least fearless in going gonzo every once and a while. Star Wars as a multi-billion dollar Disney-owned cross-medium enterprise is happy to play it safe, but the blandness in the comics limits the possibility of engaging with them on an emotional level.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?