Doctor Aphra Vol. 4 – The Catastrophe Con

I am really enjoying this series, it’s quickly becoming my favourite of all the Star Wars comics from Marvel right now. The character of Aphra is one of my favourite original characters from the new expanded materials. I am so pleased that I made the decision to go back and read the whole of her series because it’s been an utter delight so far.

Set a short span of time after the events of Volume 3, we find Aphra on a travelling Imperial Prison where the inmates are tasked with searching ships that are left after space battles.

Aphra makes an acquaintance called Lopset and he soon becomes an ally as they work together.

Aphra is also being interrogated by the Imperials in charge of the facility and she is afraid that she will soon reveal her true identity as well as the information she has on Vader and other Imperial secrets that Hera Syndulla is wanting to find out as well.

Meanwhile, General Hera Syndulla reaches out to Sana Starros, Smuggler and ex-partner of Aphra to get Aphra off of the Prison.

Aphra contacts Tolvan and tells her everything she knows about Vader and his plot to overthrow the Emperor in an effort to get the Inspectorate to rescue her.

On top of all of that, 000 is trying to find Aphra to unlock his memories that she had locked away for a price.

Everything comes together with various parties arriving to take Aphra, and during the escape attempt with Tolvan, Aphra locates a downed Jedi ship and inside is a lightsaber and a fungus spore cloud which has been granted a mild level on sentience through the Kyber Crystal in the saber.

Insanity ensues, Aphra gets the lightsaber, alters Tolvan’s memories to make her believe that she killed Aphra so that when Vader arrives (oh yes) she has deniability and is found by 000 who is blasted by Lopset who turns out to actually be Dr. Evazan who has connected Aphra’s detonator implant used by the Prison to keep inmates in check to his chip that he had implanted into 000, tying the two together.

What I have learned from the Aphra series is that you never know what’s going to happen or what situations the character will get herself into and it continues to be a refreshing series to read.

The ongoing storyline of Vader and Aphra feels like a terrifying game of cat and mouse, and of course it will all come to a head in a later volume, of course I know it will all turn out alright for Aphra (she did get a second series after all) but I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the end.

This run is Si Spurrier’s first solo run on the series, having co-written the previous volume with Kieron Gillen and honestly I didn’t even notice the change, the character remains consistent and the writing is solid. The art looks great and Java Tartaglia’s colours are amazing, and now Volume 5, here I come.

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