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Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Doctor Aphra Annual #1

Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Doctor Aphra Annual #1

This review of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #1 contains minor spoilers.

Comics annuals have often been a hit-or-miss proposition, used as either a way to get readers to pay for a 13th comic or to stuff with unused story concepts that didn’t fit elsewhere.

That’s not the case with Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #1. Not in the least.

Instead, what writer Kieron Gillen, artists Marc Laming and Will Sliney, colorist Jordan Boyd and letterer Joe Caramagna, under the editorial guidance of Heather Antos and Jordan D. White, have delivered is a solidly entertaining and informative tale that builds upon the current story arc. (The covers, it should be noted, are by David Nakayama and Phil Noto.)

That’s no small feat to pull off, much like the heists Dr. Chelli Aphra often finds herself entangled in. What we’ve been given is part back story, part foundation setter and even a foundation for upcoming issues, too.

While it may have Doctor Aphra on the title, this issue is all about Black Krrsantan: His history, his focus and his plans. It’s an intriguing story that gives us a nuanced look at why he’s so violent, why he’s so good at being violent and why he’s so determined to have his revenge on the Xonti Brothers. Gillen’s tale has some sharp turns — and elbows. He’s taken whatever notion we had about the wookiee and turned it on hits head and, for good measure, a solid gut punch.

Suffice it to say, Krrsantan is far more complex than all his previous appearances have let on. He’s a devious entity more than willing to play the long game to get the revenge he hungers for. The fact that we’re treated to some Trandoshans and other species brawling for sport and money? That’s just a bonus. Pure and simple.

Doctor Aphra Annual #1 is in comic shops now, selling for $4.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, listen to Comics With Kenobi #34, due out Sept. 5.)

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