Hello party people, and welcome to the Weekly Scoundrel! This will be your new go-to spot for my Star Wars comic reviews. If you’re coming over from TGR/The Channel Star Wars Hour blog or Me, Myself & Star Wars, thanks for following me over; if this is your first time reading anything from me, I’m happy you’re here and hope you enjoy what I have to say…so, as you can see from the title, I’ve been resting on my laurels and haven’t done a comic write-up in, uh, well, a long time…sorry. But, hey, look at it this way: this will work as a perfect reminder for a few books you haven’t read in a while before the next issue drops (that sounds good, right?). Okay, that’s a suitable introduction, so let’s dive into some comics, shall we?
Doctor Aphra #2
I wouldn’t say I’m in love with this series yet, but I do absolutely adore Miss Aphra (can’t call her “Doctor” anymore) and look forward to reading about her. In case you forgot, the last issue ended with Aphra finding out it was her father that blew the whistle on her, culminating in the suspension of her doctorate. So in this issue we start out with a little daddy/daughter backstory, and, lo and behold, in keeping with the most common trope in Star Wars, Aphra comes from a broken home where her mother is dead…*sigh*…moving on, as all good fathers do, Aphra’s father didn’t leak information about her daughter’s doctorate to teach her a lesson, he did it to strong-arm her into doing something with him (just to be clear, one should never, ever take parenting advice from Star Wars). Enter the “Ordu Aspectu.” Per Aphra’s father, they’re a Force-using sect that some kind of evil Jedi (Sith?) attacked for their “heresy” of using their abilities solely for seeking immortality. In a last-ditch effort to achieve their goal during the attack, one of them, Rur, pushes a button and their fortress disappears (also, we find out Aphra’s father calls her “Boop,” which is adorable)…per Aphra, they’re a Force-using sect that uses Jedi padawans to power their immortality machine. When the Jedi come to stop them, Rur sacrifices his second-in-command to complete his ritual and the fortress disappears…basically, it seems like an ancient order that’s more myth than reality that Aphra’s father has been chasing for his entire life; however, this time he has new information regarding the Ordu Aspectu and the Massassi that’s led Aphra and company to Yavin 4, which, since this series occurs post-A New Hope, is crawling with Imperial military. So what was supposed to be a walk in the park to get a few temple readings from an assumed-vacant moon becomes a near-impossible mission, especially considering that if anyone sees Aphra or she’s caught and word gets back to Vader she, and everyone she knows, is super dead…not just dead, super dead…anyway, I’m incredibly curious to see where this series goes; in the short-term, I really wonder how they’re going to pull off getting the information they need from the temple, and in the long-term I wonder what, if anything, we’ll find out about the Ordu Aspectu and how their Force beliefs add to the ever-broadening Force-traditions in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars #26
This issue is one of the between-story-arc tales that have previously centered on Obi-wan and I’ve enjoyed very much…this one, oddly, centers on a story about Yoda that Luke stumbles upon in Obi-wan’s journal while he waits for his droid to re-enable the hyperdrive that it just disabled on R2’s command (you’d think if it took no time to disable, getting it back online would be a similar process, but whatever). So, while R2, undoubtedly the most secret-filled droid in the rebellion, goes headlong into an obvious trap all by himself, Luke sits back to read…anyway, the journal story begins by a Jedi (I like that it never mentions Yoda by name as that would really complicate Empire Strikes Back) going to rescue a Force-sensitive boy that’s being held in a cage for ransom by a local pirate gang. The pirates have never seen a Jedi before, so when Yoda shows up, being his diminutive self, they all laugh. Clearly they haven’t yet learned that “size matters not.” Two thugs are ordered to take Yoda out and quickly find themselves instead fighting each other as Yoda commands their actions with the Force. Unperturbed, the pirate leader sends everything he has at Yoda…as you could probably imagine, it doesn’t go well. Yoda cleans house, seemingly without breaking a sweat (or breaking out his lightsaber), and successfully rescues the child. Qui-gon and Obi-wan show up to take the child back to Coruscant so Yoda can follow a calling he feels in the Force. I thought this was going to be something to do with the Force priestesses, like an early call that Yoda doesn’t quite connect with or maybe an initial trial that he doesn’t pass, but it turns out it’s an uncharted planet full of indigenous, primitive children. It’s like the Star Wars version of Neverland. While I am certainly curious to see where this storyline goes, I didn’t really enjoy it. The setup to get Luke to start reading the journal was farfetched and took too long, which, in turn, didn’t leave enough time to tell the entire story in one issue so now this should-be-about-Obi-wan-but-is-about-Yoda interlude has to spill over into the next issue. I have high hopes that the conclusion of this story will be awesome and this dull issue will be worth it once it’s fully realized, but as of right now it’s a bit of a let down…
Poe Dameron #10
Here lies Poe Dameron; gunned down on Kaddak…oh wait, he can’t be dead, this happens before The Force Awakens…so Poe’s been shot and the gangbangers are going to dispatch the droids and Oddy until 3PO informs them that’d be a bad idea since they’re surrounded. And it turns out they’re surrounded by droids (so, like the rebellion, the Resistance is definitely not short on droids). With that predicament solved and Poe back on his feet, the only thing left to do now is grab the droid they’re after and take off. Easy, peasy, one, two, threesy. While this is going on, Terex returns to the Spike with his people to commandeer his ship and explain that he’s gone rogue to deliver the Resistance to the First Order (which is probably what his job was anyway, in a sense, it’s just his methods that are rogue). Then we get a flashback that shows how Terex became the Terex we’re familiar with: he’s repaired the Spike and is “testing” the surveillance by spying on his partner and the two ladies they first met with on Kaddak, who are basically saying that if Terex isn’t with them, he’s got to go. Hearing this, that he’s been a fool, a “tool,” he comes to the realization that his endeavor to bring back the Empire was his alone and that everyone else was out for themselves, to take advantage of the lack of order the Empire’s destruction has ushered in. He fires on the control center were Corlac and the ladies were conspiring against him, killing them. Then we see several panels documenting his triumphs, ending with him on his throne, king of his criminal element. When collecting tribute from his minions, one of them delivers a First Order stromtrooper suit that gets Terex’s old wheels turning. So now we shift back to current time and we see that Poe and company are dealing with trying to get their old battle droid informant to relinquish his information, which he won’t, so now they have to take him back with them. Seems simple enough, but then they see the Spike fly over, which Poe recognizes from the prison as belonging to Terex. They try to hurry away, but Terex puts out a request for Poe with a reward for his successful capture…suddenly they’re in the middle of a dangerous world with everyone looking for them…bad news. But, luckily, 3PO calls his droid army and they help the gang get back to their transport safely. Of course, the transport won’t do for escape, but, luckily again, Poe thought ahead and brought his X-wing with them. So everything’s coming up Dameron until they realize Oddy isn’t there. Things being what they are, Poe decides Oddy will be okay since they’re not looking for him, and he’s leaving the transport behind so Oddy isn’t stranded. As it turns out, Oddy is spying on Terex, overhears that Poe’s escape was orchestrated by Terex, and then boards the Spike. That’s quite oddy indeed…anyway, with his trap set, Terex opens up a room with a mishmash fighter squadron and says, “let’s go get him.” Issue #11 is shaping up to be quite the showdown, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of these cobbled-together-looking ships Terex has in action; however, if Terex does manage to follow Poe back to the Resistance base, that has to mean that he doesn’t survive the battle because the base’s location never makes it back to the First Order (not at this point in the larger story, anyway), right? I mean, I suppose he could get away and decide to give up on the First Order, but I doubt that’s how it goes…so that will be a sad day for me since Terex is one of the most interesting characters in any of the comics. I’ll try to stay optimistic, though, since we’re not sure how things are going to pan out yet, but, regardless of what happens, issue #11 is shaping up to be fantastic…
And just like that, we’re all caught up and ready for Doctor Aphra #3 this Wednesday. Of the books I went over here, I’d say Doctor Aphra #2 was my favorite. I have super high expectations for that series because I loved the Darth Vader series so much, and, so far, like I said, I’m not in love with it yet, but I’m getting there. A close second would be the Poe book; that series has picked up by leaps and bounds, and issue #11 is probably the Star Wars comic I’m most looking forward to right now (except maybe Darth Maul #1). That means in third, waaaaaay behind in third, is Star Wars #26…I think issue #27 is going to make up for it, and the entire Yoda story is going to be great, but, again, as of right now, I definitely wouldn’t suggest someone jump into the series with that one…well, I think that’ll do it for this post. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing about comics regularly, and I hope to hear back from other fans in the comments section (I’m not going to do the whole threat thing I usually do, but, if you’re a regular reader don’t worry, I’ll get back to it). TWS out.