Aphra’s creator, Kieron Gillen, is credited as a co-writer on this arc, but the story here does feel more like the work of incoming co-writer Si Spurrier. That’s not a bad thing as Spurrier has done some great work at Marvel and other publishers in the past and here he seems to be focused on throwing as much stuff at the title character as possible. For starters, the punnish title which indicates the central conceit of this storyline as Aphra is now under the thumb of murder droid Triple-Zero. While the droid isn’t exactly being vindictive about his time spent calling Aphra “master” he’s certainly not above putting her in some very sticky moral situations that leave a lot more people dead than the good doctor is comfortable with. One of these situations has her crossing paths with disgraced Imperial officer Magna Tolvan who finds a new purpose (and more) when she makes pursuing Aphra her priority.
The good news is that Spurrier acquits himself well as the new writer on this title. He’s leaving his genre-deconstructuralist tendencies behind and concentrates on making Aphra’s corner of the “Star Wars” universe one of the more appreciatively weirder and offbeat ones. Expect to see a glib multi-armed assassin, to a probability droid whose mind is always blown, to data storage facility where the Empire keeps all of its research products that were too crazy for mass production, and the destructive power of the phrase “Snugglebum Oogiewoogie.” Yes, this volume of “Aphra” is as crazy as “Star Wars” gets these days and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
My only real issue with this volume is that the writers are guilty of throwing almost too much stuff into a single storyline. To the point where all of the character, action, quirk, and plot twists start to feel like a bit too much for a single arc. I’m also left feeling that bringing Triple-Zero back and in this particular role feels “too soon” after the events of the previous volume. Still, too much ambition is a better sin to have than too little and the art from Emilio Laiso is fantastic. He’s got an impressive eye for detail and has a real knack for imaginative creature and mech designs. Not the smoothest handoff as far as shifts in writers go, but still one that shows “Doctor Aphra” to be in very good hands.