REVIEW: Dr. Aphra #38: A Rogue's End, Part II by Simon Spurrier
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
This was a super bittersweet issue what with the reveal at the end of last issue that Chelli's dad was in the clutches of Vader! We get more father/daughter interaction and it all plays out as you would expect with Dr. Aphra senior always getting carried away by religious totems, texts, and myths and Dr. Aphra junior trying to get him to realize the very real danger they are both in. It really is sweet to see how much Chelli loves her dad.
And the twist about 3/4 of the way through makes the whole situation so incredibly sad. But then we get a second twist and the sadness ramps up to 11. Even Chelli was tearing up during the events of this issue! And her father points out that despite all the dastardly things she's done, she still feels. You know, that is so true...I seriously doubt Anakin cries in response to all the horrific things he does as Vader. In contrast, this isn't the first time we've seen Chelli weep.
So we start off with the surprise entry of 0-0-0 and BT-1, newly reprogrammed, memory-wiped, and fitted with restraining bolts. They're still super murder droids but they have no clue who Aphra is and that actually added to the bitter sweetness of this issue for me. 0-0-0 and Aphra almost bonded over the reveal of how 0-0-0 came to be (he was an accident of experimentation and his maker was horrified by him). And he even made the point that Aphra was more like him than she would like to admit. They had what could be referred to as heart-to-hearts and now all that is erased, leaving Aphra the only one disturbed by the memories. Anyway, the two droids have been brought in to interrogate Aphra's dad about the Rebels. He keeps speaking out against the Empire and Aphra keeps shushing him, begging him to reveal what he knows. Finally, he realizes Vader wants info on the actual Rebel Alliance and he immediately bad mouths them as destroyers of ancient temples. This got a real laugh out of me!!
And then Vader, Chelli, her father, and BT-1 travel to Asteroid Helix 13-v (near Karga) where daddy Aphra says he recently ran into some Rebels. They find traces of the soldiers (off-world silicates and vaporator residue in the dust signaling they came from a desert world and fur, leather, and jootoo seeds--people suck these for warmth--in the top layer signaling they were headed somewhere cold...Hoth!!!) but the place is deserted.
Vader follows the call of the Force deep within the structure and comes across skeletal apparitions of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Shmi, Yoda, and somebody I cannot identify second from the top on the left hand side. He proclaims they aren't real and orders the entire asteroid destroyed. I wonder if he felt threatened, felt old feelings rising up, didn't want anybody else to find the place, or simply had nothing better to do. It was all very mysterious and I'm definitely curious about whatever nexus was present.
Oh, and to add to the sorrow of this issue, Chelli has left Vulaada behind on Ash Moon 1 with a hologram saying her goodbyes. I feel so sorry for the poor young girl! Chelli has done nothing but make the girl's life more difficult. She lost her pet and now she's lost her guardian. It seems she has nothing left. *tear* I do hope this isn't the last we've seen of Vulaada. It was especially disheartening because she's on the cover!!!
Lastly, during a quite poignant father/daughter scene, Chelli relays many of the crazy adventures she's had and it was a nice trip down memory lane that felt kind of final in its presentation. Luckily we know another Aphra series is on the way so it can't be nearing the true end!! "I used a flight school as a battering ram. Got swallowed by a shadowfang beast. Activated a hellhulk guardian. […] I helped prevent an Abersyn outbreak--which, to be fair, I also caused. I blew up a loooot of tooka cats. I awoke a fungus that thought it was a Jedi. I saved the life of a monster just to get revenge for mom. I fell in love. Ruined it." This is when our favorite rogue starts crying...reliving so much pain that you yourself caused must be incredibly difficult.
Needless to say, the issue ends with Aphra in a crazy tough spot. As I seem to always say at the end of my Dr. Aphra reviews, how in the world will she get out of this one?!? This series never disappoints and all I can say is I hope she catches a break sooner rather than later. *heart*
My score: 8/10
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