I’ve stated on numerous occasions that Doctor Aphra is probably the best long-running comic on the Star Wars line. Honestly, this may be my favorite issue so far, and I’ll attempt to explain why without spoiling too much.
One thing, and I suppose this is a bit of a spoiler, is that I’m so happy we’re really committing to giving Aphra a romantic plot. There aren’t enough major queer characters in Star Wars and I love that Aphra has her own running comic and now what seems to be a permanent, developed relationship. It’s really great and I’m glad that Star Wars was willing to do this in one of its most popular comic lines.
I also think the conflict that’s been set up for Tolvan is really interesting, and I look forward to seeing how she deals with the new choices that have been set before her. Honestly, I really like Tolvan as a character, I am partial to Imperials but I think she’s possibly my favorite comic-exclusive Imperial. I love both her design and her personality, and I love how slowly and well her relationship with Aphra has been developed.
Aprha’s plot is also interesting, I continue to feel really bad for her, as BeeTee is just the worst, really. Though I loved the breakdown of all of the mercenaries they’d hired for the mission. This comic is so funny and well written, and I love that they can have an issue like this that really moves the interpersonal relationships along without sacrificing humor or pacing.
Honestly, this comic is absolutely amazing, and if you enjoy Star Wars, great comic art or writing, or care about supporting queer representation in mainstream comics you should definitely be reading it.
Okay, so onto the hardcore Star Wars stuff. Spoilers for the whole canon, as usual.
Beyond the fact that Aprha and Tolvan have the only potential romantic relationship in the canon that I have emotional investment in, I love that expanding Tolvan as a character allows us to get a much clearer picture of this period of what it looks like to work for the Empire during this time period for people other than Darth Vader. A vast majority of our developed Imperial officers are from either the time before the destruction of the Death Star (Tarkin, Krennic, Thrawn, Pryce, and Kallus) or after Endor (Iden Versio, Brendol Hux, and Gallius Rax). We also leave off with Rae Sloane during the first season of Rebels (she’s in the Kanan comic) and don’t see her again until the Battle of Endor. The only exception to this rule are the characters of Lost Stars, which doesn’t really dwell much on that time period either.
So much of the breakdown of the Empire, and, by extension, the success of the Rebellion takes place in the aftermath of the Death Star’s destruction, and I love being able to see that in detail. That being said, I’d be willing to do without that information for Aphra and Tolvan to run away together because I do feel like Tolvan’s reversal in circumstance in regards to the Empire is only temporary. Also, Tolvan is totally adorable, right? She has that sort of Kallusy “sad and lonely Imperial agent clinging desperately to the first real emotional connection she’s had in years” vibe that somehow never gets old. I also love her coat, I don’t know why anyone wears anything else if that’s a uniform option, but I’m long past trying to figure out how Imperial uniforms work.
Also, I’m glad that something in the current canon is being somewhat clear on developing a romantic relationship outside of a novel. They’ve sort of avoided that so far. Particularly in the movies. So, it was nice to see it done here (and also in the main Battlefront plotline).
I’m really looking forward to the next issue of Aphra. I’ll be mad if the cover preview is a lie and Aphra and Tovlan don’t see each other again, though, that’s just mean.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Art: 5 Stars
Dialogue: 5 Stars
Plot/Relevance: 5 Stars
(W) Si Spurrier (A) Emilio Laiso (CA) Ashley Witter