It’s comic book day, ladies and gentlemen, and my wallet breathes a sigh of relief as there’s but one measly book at the checkout counter today: Doctor Aphra #10. First and foremost, congratulations to Aphra for doubling the number of issues I would have ever expected her to get (I assumed she’d be given a 5-issue mini-series that ended with her actually dead or blasted into obscurity). Secondly, how ’bout I shut up already and we get to the heart of the matter, huh?
Doctor Aphra #10
In case you forgot what was happening last time since it was fairly uneventful, Aphra is having an auction of sorts for Rur and his, for lack of a better phrase, containment unit. For the second act of this drawn-out non-adventure, Aphra makes a wardrobe change (she looks more like Nightwing this time, and less like an X-man) and then goes to each bidder one at a time to see what they have to offer, starting with the incredibly odd, seemingly mostly mechanical Toov. While speaking from some kind of “keep me alive” chamber, we find out that he has lots of money to offer for the chance to unlock immortality. Next we find out that the Rodians are leaving because they’ve gone in with the Hutt, each of them planning to back-stab the other if they win, and then Aphra talks with the half of the droid duo Krrsantan didn’t shoot while they watch his partner being repaired. The droids plan is to destroy Rur because his technopathy increases droids’ already marginalized place in society. After this, we see the murderbots, up to no good as usual, take over the repairs of the shot-up droid (side note, the use of droid type cameos in this issue is fun, especially the 8D unit as I have a soft spot for them because I played one called “Lucky 13” in a Star Wars RPG campaign once – his number was 8D713, get it?). Next are the super rad Ezaraa people that first appeared, regrettably, in Screaming Citadel #1 in a very similar circumstance. I will say, though, that I hoped at the time that we’d see this species again, so thanks for that, Marvel. They offer her some ridiculous low percentage of their take when they become rulers of the galaxy…then we find out they don’t even rule their entire planet…love the moxie on these guys…moving on, we come to the Shadow University, which are represented by two similar-looking, very sci-fi-esque characters that remind me of the Star Wars equivalent of Team Rocket (I don’t really know why…maybe because they’re a male/female pair that look similar…if only they had a talking cat…) The trick with this group is they not only make an offer, they also blackmail Aphra by saying that they have the means to remove the “Doctor” from her once again (she makes a chuckle-worthy joke about being in disguise and how they should at least play along). Another caveat of this deal is that she’d still have access to Rur as full access to the Shadow University’s archives is included. Last but not least, we have Papa Toren, who just so happens to represent the gladiator trainers that trained (tortured) Krrsantan. Naturally, he goes after them in a rage and has to be subdued by BT. Turns out the Xonti Brothers want Rur so they can use him as a sort of unlimited gladiator for sport and entertainment…certainly an interesting idea…Aphra then goes into the medbay to wake up Krrsantan who promptly chokes her, and we find out that he owes them a sort of opposite life debt for what they did to him (i.e. he wants to END their lives instead of protect them). For me, this was the best part of the whole issue. I love Krrsantan and would be absolutely thrilled if he got his own mini-series about being a gladiator slave and how he became free. I may be in the minority here, but that would be amazing. Back to the matter at hand, Krrsantan grumbles but keeps his cool when faced with his demons once again, because he’s a consummate professional, and Aphra picks a winner: the Shadow University. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to me what with their blackmail and all…what does come as a surprise though, is that Vader isn’t the one who shows up to ruin the party as they made you think he would be at the end of the last issue, no, it turns out that the murderbots did something to allow the repaired half of the droid duo to be controlled by Rur, who is now dual-wielding ancient lightsabers and controlling the place’s automated weapons systems…and thus ends Doctor Aphra #10…
So, what’d you think? Overall, I thought it was another dull installment of the series…I think they could have done a bit of editing and combined the last issue with this one and done more to further the story, but it wasn’t terrible…it’s certainly been worse…*cough Screaming Citadel cough*…they definitely hit on a pretty great cliffhanger this time, that’s for sure…so what say you? Were you hoping for more from this issue, or did it hit the spot? Were you disappointed when Vader didn’t show up? Do you think he’ll make an appearance next issue and settle things with Rur? Give the book a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or maybe the next time you walk into a jewelry store the emeralds will turn all your technology against you…TWS out.