Doctor Aphra #39 Review

by Sam Jarron on November 28, 2019

Author: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Aphra moves closer to the end with it's penultimate issue, #39. The last two Aphra issues (#38 and Annual #3), I said that this was one of the best arcs in the series, and this issue catapaults it into the best. I've talked about my issues with the series, mainly the fact that it feels a little repetetive, and the characters rarely see any development. This arc is simultaneously not falling for the same tropes, and also setting up the next era of Marvel Star Wars content (Beginning with Empire Ascendant next month and the series-wide relaunch next year). 

The last few issues have shown Aphra's hijinks while being employed by Vader (the second time) to find the Rebel Base. At the end of the last issue, things took a turn when Magna Tolvan and her Rebel squad found the ship that Vader had left Aphra and Dad-phra (I can't believe I just now thought of that nickname). Aphra abandoned her dad to escape Magna, since Magna has been wanting to kill her. While she's being hunted, Aphra uses a new ability that we're seeing for the first time: she has a telepathic link with Magna. Now it's not an actual telepathic link; they both got electronic tattoos that give them a comm link between each other, and lets them hear each other's thoughts. 

Aphra uses the telepathic link to stop Magna from killing her, and it leads into them renewing their romance, and they sleep together inside the ship Aphra is trying to escape. It's just a classic Doctor Aphra moment, I love it. After waking up, Aphra uses the link to do what she's been trying to do this whole arc: find out the location of the Rebel Base. Yep, Aphra finds out that they're on Hoth before Empire Strikes Back. She uses her wits to trick Magna and the other Rebels into following a shuttle carrying Dad-phra to the planet where she stranded Vulaada, while she and BT-1 make their escape in an escape pod, and tell Vader the good news (except the actual name).

This issue ramped things up even more than the previous issues. Previous arcs fell into the trap of spending too much time setting up the story, but this arc has been jumping right into plot twist after plot twist, and it's amazing. Spurrier is definitely ending his run with a bang (and Wijngaard's art is amazing too, even if it's no Laiso art). This issue was Doctor Aphra at it's best, and I can't wait for the finale in a couple weeks, as well as the finale for this era of Marvel Star Wars the week after that, and Aphra's relaunch in a few months.

Our Score:


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