Last time we left Doctor Aphra and Triple-Zero face-to-face with Tam Posla, who just WILL NOT DIE. Turns out he’s not the only one who’s about to return with a vengeance.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Doctor Aphra No. 27! You have been warned.
It seems Doctor Aphra’s worst enemies just keep coming back to haunt her, in more ways than one.
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Tam Posla is back from the dead, thanks to a really creepy Force fungus with the power to possess anyone it infects.
Winloss and Nokk are still set in their no-killing monster hunter ways, convinced they can overcome their amateur status by capturing a prize.
Triple-Zero’s partner in crime also makes a triumphant reappearance, only to immediately try killing both woman and droid with a whole lot of fire.
And Dr. Cornelius Evazan — alive and seemingly well — broadcasts she and Trip’s whereabouts to the entire city, alerting citizens of their crimes as well as the generous reward for their (alive or dead) capture.
At the first sign of danger, Aphra’s only way out of trouble vanished. After escaping a resurrected Posla, the galaxy’s worst hunters, and a droid with a death wish, Vulaada returns with yet another promise of hope.
True to her Han Solo-like nature, Aphra once again finds herself at the mercy of beings she has previously betrayed.
But you don’t have to have a history with someone to risk them turning their back on you. Which is where this issue leaves us — Aphra staring into the face of Vulaada Klam, the one she was counting on to save her.
Presumably, Aphra will find a way out of this no-win situation as she has all the others. But hungry readers can’t resist a tasty cliffhanger. Or, at least, I can’t.
As always, when the action in these panels escalates, it goes all in. And when the plot gives us a moment to breathe, we get just that — a moment — before conflict rises once more.
I appreciate this comic’s quiet moments. They always manage to build tension even as you find yourself relaxing ever so slightly — knowing, as always, that something very bad is about to happen.
For a moment, we are reminded of Aphra’s guilt. She not only betrayed Tolvan, but misses her deeply. Every chance she gets, she searches for any sign she might still be alive.
Even in absence, Aphra’s betrayal of the one she claimed to love poisons her with shame. Every time she thinks she might be rid of her demons, they just keep coming back for more.
We’re also getting some sweet character development with Trip and his “sore spot” for his old friend-turned-murder machine. It makes him oddly likable, despite the number of times he has almost succeeded in ending Aphra without remorse.
Maybe the end of this ever-escalating bomb threat is upon us. Or not. The fact that this arc has gone on so long without getting tiresome is immensely impressive, from a storytelling perspective. What do you think will happen next?