The Deadpoolian Doctor of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 18

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The relevance of the antihero has risen and fallen numerous times over the past couple of decades. With the mainstream introduction of Deadpool, we have a new mold that mashes antihero with that of lovable scoundrel. Since her arrival, Doctor Aphra has been more of the lovable scoundrel type, but with Star Wars Doctor Aphra 18, Kieron Gillen, Simon Spurrier, and Emilio Laiso lead her into Deadpool territory.

Aphra has teamed up with a band of cyborgs and aliens to retrieve Triple-Zero’s missing memory files from a secure Imperial facility. Since Gillen and Spurrier introduced this bevy of expendables, it’s been evident that they are…expendable. The latest of these to meet their untimely demise is a pair of cybernetic lovers named Tam and Caysin.

Tam and Caysin’s story of romance and revenge on Doctor Evazan — from the cantina in A New Hope — is the height of emotion that Doctor Aphra 18 reaches however.

Throughout the issue Doctor Aphra herself shifts between two poles: cold and sarcastic. Gillen and Spurrier reinforce several times that any fascination she finds with horrors like human/droid death machines is only due to her scientific curiosity.

When she doesn’t have her scientist hat on, she’s a cartoonish Deadpoolian character that very nearly brushes up against the fourth wall.

The only reason she’s concerned about the life or death stakes is that her skin is on the line. It’s possible that this character has always been this way and I’m just not into it anymore. But it seems to me like something an emotional element has been stripped from this character.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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