Doctor Aphra Annual #3 Review

by Sam Jarron on October 31, 2019

Author: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Elsa Charretier
Publisher: Marvel Entertaiment

Doctor Aphra is an incredible series. The Doctor Aphra Annuals are also incredible. Doctor Aphra Annual #3 continues that trend, and is... incredible. Doctor Aphra has always been one of my favorite ongoing Star Wars series; for those who don't know, it's basically Indiana Jones combined with Star Wars, and maybe a little bit of Mission: Impossible. Doctor Aphra is an archeologist with a terrible moral compass that gets in trouble with past flames, homicidal droids, bounty hunters with a grudge, and Darth Vader himself. Over the course of her 40 issues and 3 annuals, she's built up a pretty big Rogue's Gallery (if that's the best word for it, considering she's kind've a rogue herself).

The Annuals have always focused on those supporting characters, and they always tell really well-made stories that provide essential backstory for the main issues. The first was about Black Krrsantann, the Wookiee bounty hunter who Aphra owes a lot of credits. The second introduced Winloss and Nokk, a madly-in-love couple of trappers; however, this issue didn't tell us much about them. They were introduced, and Aphra betrayed them during a job (as she usually does to everyone), and they ended up appearing in the main issues. The third issue brings them back, giving them (specifically Nokk) a backstory, as well as a really fun present-day story of betrayal, as expected from an Aphra story.

The story is told from the point of view of Nokk, the Trandoshan hunter that was exiled from her clan for refusing to kill a baby Wookiee. Aphra offers her revenge against the Trandoshan responsible, and she accepts. Nokk and Winloss, her human husband, go on a hunt for him with instructions from Aphra. They end up at Mos Eisley Cantina, where they meet a bartender that suprisingly isn't Wuher. Maybe Wuher is on vacation right now or something. Through a bunch of twists and turns, we find out that Aphra wasn't helping out of the kindness of her heart (she never does), but was helping because that Trandoshan had betrayed her on a job some time ago, along with the non-Wuher bartender. After following Aphra's instructions, (and getting help from Black Krrsantann) both the traitors are dropped to their deaths in Jabba's Palace.

This issue was pretty incredible. While I love the complex plot of the main story, it's been getting repetitive recently, so a one-shot that returned to Aphra's Indiana-Jones-but-Star-Wars is greatly appreciated. Spurrier was able to fit a lot of story into a single issue, and Elsa Charretier's art was amazing as always (She's done a lot of Star Wars comic art, primarily in IDW's Star Wars Adventures series). This issue kinda felt like the "essential" Doctor Aphra issue; it has all the series' classic characters and story structure. I'm sad that this'll be the last annual of the series, since Doctor Aphra Vol 1 is ending at #40 in December, but I'm looking forward to seeing how Alyssa Wong brings a new voice and era to Aphra's story next year when the series reboots. 

Our Score:

10/10

A Look Inside