Doctor Aphra comic (2020) No. 2 review: A haunted past

Photo: Galaxy's Edge Droid Depot in Walt Disney World.. Image by Jennifer Renson-Chiappetta
Photo: Galaxy's Edge Droid Depot in Walt Disney World.. Image by Jennifer Renson-Chiappetta /

Doctor Aphra’s search for the Rings of Vaale continues as she tries not to let her history with Eustacia jeopardize her latest and dangerous mission.

When we last saw Doctor Aphra, she’d just agreed to embark on another questionable mission with a brand-new crew. Along with a Wookiee and a droid, Aphra, her former lover Eustacia Okka and two additional team members Detta and Lucky set out to search for the cursed Rings of Vaale.

And what better place to look for the Rings of Vaale than within Vaale itself?

There’s something not quite right about this place, though. Despite it being deserted, it seems alive somehow – literally. Lucky starts to hear things no one else can hear, and Detta begins to see things everyone else is convinced aren’t actually there.

But leave it to Aphra to continue marching on despite the pending chaos. It’s what she’s best at.

She marches her crew directly into a trap.

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Enter Ronen Tagge. Again. Surprise! Aphra stole some stuff from him once (that’s our girl), and now he’s out for revenge. Specifically, he wants the same rings she’s after. And he’ll stop at nothing to make sure he gets what he wants this time.

Which means Aphra’s former flame is maybe sort of definitely almost dead. Probably not, since most of the women Aphra used to be involved with find their way back to her eventually.

But for now, Tagge is going to (attempt to) destroy everything Aphra cares about until he gets the toys he totally doesn’t deserve.

What a jerk.

This Aphra run may only be on its second issue, but it has already proven it could far surpass its predecessor in quality — and the 2016 run was marvelous. Its stakes feel higher. Its suspense feels sharper. And its softer, more emotional moments feel deeper.

It could just be that we had to wait way too long between issues, and even a Doctor Aphra audio drama couldn’t completely fill the void in my rogue archeologist-deprived soul.

But there’s a lot more good to come as this series continues. With a GLAAD Media Award attached to her name, this character is rightfully elbowing her way into the spotlight for more Star Wars fans to discover and fall in love with her, meaning there’s an even greater chance she could appear outside the comics in a book or show someday sooner rather than later.

It’s the expanded universe, after all. Almost anything could happen.

We already got a quick surprise High Republic reference in this past month’s issue, which is really just a much-needed reminder that everything in Star Wars is connected … even when you least expect it to be.

Will we learn more about this era in future issues? Only time — and, sigh, more waiting — will tell.

Doctor Aphra comic (2020) review: Dangerous business. dark. Next

Doctor Aphra (2020) #3 drops on Wednesday, August 26.