SPOILER REVIEW: "Doctor Aphra #10: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: The Invitation" by Alyssa Wong
This issue barely connects to "War of the Bounty Hunters" except for the last sequence of panels, and even then that connection is left up to the imagination because we aren't told where Sanna and Aphra are headed next nor what kind of "exclusive event" on Canto Bight that Just Lucky and Ariole are headed to--just that there are big things on the horizon.
We start where we left off last issue with Sana and Aphra at Beol De'Rruyet's auction for the path engine. Vukorah (leader of the Unbroken Clan) has started killing hostages, the path engine is miserably fake and is about to blow, Imperials have arrived on the scene...it's bad! And Aphra is ready to scoot on out of there, but Sana appeals to Aphra's better side by responding to the archaeologist's, "Don't try to be a hero, Sana. It's never worth it." with "Do you think Magna Tolvan would agree? You loved her once." Woah!! What a punch in the gut for Aphra!! And of course her reaction is to jump in and try to save the day--she's such a terrible person but her heart is dang near mushy.
After her hasty run back into the fray, Aphra promises Vukorah that she'll fix the engine, but it's all a distraction because as Aphra says, the engine is so fake that "It's held together with duratape and wishes." She's waiting for Sana to break out some of the hostages and get the Imperials inside the building to handle Vukorah. Which all plays out nicely with Aphra even snagging the crystal core of the original path engine! Having failed Lady Domina's mission (she wanted them to bring the engine back to her...not destroy it), this crystal core is the only thing keeping Aphra from an early death. Lady Domina gives her a new mission to find Ebann Drake, a runaway cousin of hers who was after an "incredible opportunity." So the next arc will deal with Aphra trying to figure out the mystery. What this has to do with Han and Boba Fett, I don't know.
Then Just Lucky and Ariole are back, having just dealt with Koz (someone who owed their boss Wen Delphis, the spider person, a lot of money), and miraculously alive. It feels like Aphra has two main storylines now: 1) Sana and Aphra, 2) Just Lucky and Ariole. I love that their branching out to tell stories of other new characters and it doesn't hurt that Just Lucky and Ariole are both queer!!! In other words, all four of our main characters are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Have I died and gone to heaven?? We leave them as they are headed to Canto Bight to find the traitor amongst the Sixth Kin (their "gang").
And to end, I'm pretty sure the very last panel is none other than Durge!
So an enjoyable issue with a lot more going on than I had realized. I'm really curious to see how Sana/Aphra and Just Lucky/Ariole's new missions will coincide with Boba Fett's losing Han. With so many people converging on the same thing, this is going to be a wild ride!
SCORE: 7.5/10 because it was really good but just didn't hit the highs of other Doctor Aphra material.
"Doctor Aphra #10: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: The Invitation" written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Ray-Anthony Height, Victor Olazaba, and Rachelle Rosenberg
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