REVIEW: ‘Star Wars Doctor Aphra’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Doctor Aphra holds her head and the picture looks like it's been shattered like glass.

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #3 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Alyssa Wong, drawn by Marika Cresta, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. Doctor Aphra and her less-than-trustworthy crew have made it to Dianth, where they believe the mythical Rings of Vaale are located. And everything looks like it’s going to be alright. Well, maybe they would if anyone by Doctor Aphra was in charge but missions have a way of going sideways with her in charge.  Detta and Doctor Aphra are separated from the rest of the team, Ronen Tagge’s bounty hunters have arrived, and there’s a spy among them. Doctor Aphra #3 puts the Doctor in a tight spot, backed into a corner, but that’s when she does some of her best work. Never underestimate a woman who’s gone up against Darth Vader and lived to tell the tale.

Wong does a great job of capturing Doctor Aphra’s voice as she appeared in her previous solo series. The thing about Doctor Aphra is that she’s likable even though she’s the kind of person who’s just as likely to shoot you in the back as she is to hold up her end of a deal. And Wong perfectly captures that.

There’s something exciting about a chaotic rogue of a character who plays both sides of the war. But Detta may just outplay the Doctor herself. I think Doctor Aphra #3 would’ve benefitted from more Detta and Doctor Aphra interactions instead of splitting the story between following those two, and the rest of the team. Splitting the team gives Wong the opportunity to show how outsiders view Aphra’s behavior, but it’s just not as exciting as having a first-hand view of the drama Aphra always attracts.

Initially, I had trouble distinguishing Kiehart and Aphra at first glance. With their long dark hair and similarly colored vests, they look very similar. With such an expansive universe to chose from, I wish they would’ve given Kiehart a slightly different design. But aside from this, Cresta and Rosenberg’s art is noteworthy. Cresta’s linework is smooth and clean. Characters have detail, as do the backgrounds, but it’s not so busy that there’s too much going on in every panel. And Rosenberg uses saturated colors while still maintaining the dark tone of the story. Truly the art is the best part of Doctor Aphra #3.

Caramagna’s lettering is very average in Doctor Aphra #3. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing extraordinary. And perhaps this is for the best because the page that summarizes the story thus far the lettering looks like it’s right from a text in-universe. But I found it incredibly difficult to read, having to look through it twice just to understand it.

After reading enough Doctor Aphra comics, you learn not to trust anyone because loyalties shift as quickly as credits can change hands. And while I enjoy the characters, Doctor Aphra #3 didn’t wow me. It followed a similar formula of Doctor Aphra comics before it; Aphra does questionable things, her allies doubt her, she does some more questionable things, and everything (mostly) works out. But with all of the new characters on her team, hopefully, future issues of Doctor Aphra will stand out. 

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #3  is available wherever comics are sold.

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #3 
3.5

TL;DR

After reading enough Doctor Aphra comics, you learn not to trust anyone because loyalties shift as quickly as credits can change hands. And while I enjoy the characters, Doctor Aphra #3 didn’t wow me. It followed a similar formula of Doctor Aphra comics before it; Aphra does questionable things, her allies doubt her, she does some more questionable things, and everything (mostly) works out. But with all of the new characters on her team, hopefully, future issues of Doctor Aphra will stand out.