SPOILER REVIEW: "Doctor Aphra #5: Fortune and Fate, Part 5--Power Play" by Alyssa Wong
This was certainly a surprising issue, but left a few questions as to what exactly was going on. Aphra pulls a stunt that is so typical Aphra and that was honestly scary to witness, even if I knew things weren't really the way they seemed--it's certainly a "Power Play" as the title suggests. So a pretty good issue, just with some odd choices.
We left off last issue with Aphra proclaiming she wants to make a deal with Ronen Tagge, a spoiled, vicious boy of a man who wants the Rings of Vaale for himself so he can destroy them in front of Eustacia Okka's eyes, leaving all her years of research that got her ousted from the Shadow Academy gone forever.
In regards to this issue, I'm honestly a bit confused as it turns out that Ronen has been in possession of the Ring of Eternal Life all along...but in the last issue he was exceedingly upset with his henchman for only finding one of the two rings. And he makes it sound like in this issue that he's known the family heirloom he wears on his finger was the Ring of Eternal Life for some time now. So, huh?? Also, if his family has had the Ring of Eternal Life (blue) this whole time and NOT the Ring of Fortune (red), why has his family's fortune been what has grown and thrived? I don't get it.
Anyway, we have Aphra goading Ronen about not being a famed man in his own right, that he's a Tagge, yes, but it's the other Tagges like General Cassio and Lady Domina that are the real powerhouses--he's just riding their coattails. This certainly gets him to perk up and listen in to her next pitch! She says she fully believes in the power of the rings and that Eustacia should put them both on and go into Ronen's incineration chamber--she claims Eustacia will survive the intense heat because the rings hold the power they are famed to and this will prove their usefulness to him in gaining his own recognition. ...and if they don't? Well, the rings and Eustacia (their prime researcher) will be lost to the galaxy forever just as Ronen wished. Goodness, I was taken aback by Aphra's callousness in all this, but in the back of my head, I KNEW she had a plan up her sleeve--she's proven time and time again that she's not that heartless.
Eustacia has the rings forced upon her and she's thrust into the chamber...only to survive!! But Eustacia's droid, TA-418, has been fiddling with the chamber's parameters courtesy of Aphra and it's not really incinerating her at all. Ronen immediately believes in the power of the rings and dons them himself. Only to have Aphra shove him in the incinerator, re-programming it to blow sky high and destroy the terrible man forever.
Well, it certainly blows and the entirety of Cantonica can see the explosion, leading Just Lucky to hurry up to Ronen's penthouse to check on his boss. Turns out...the rings work after all!!! And although charred and barely alive, Ronen is still breathing and speaking which causes Just Lucky to call for a medic, while stealing the rings for himself and leaving Ronen to die. Dun dun dun!! I'm super surprised they did away with Ronen Tagge so soon after making him the main villain...another odd choice in this issue. Looks like Just Lucky might become the new big bad...
And finally, we get a look at Lady Domina, she's ethereal and imposing and at the news of her nephew's demise, is bound and determined to destroy Aphra! I can't wait to get more of her! She looks like a hardcore bada**!
A couple of insightful quotes from Aphra about herself:
"I'm...not good at this. Trusting people. Or showing that I care. That's not really my speed." This was in response to Eustacia being dumbstruck that Aphra was bluffing the whole time when suggesting Eustacia be thrown in the incinerator.
"I'm used to people being mad at me. At this point, it's a lifestyle." Said after Eustacia points out that the Tagge's are going to have her hide after her explosion stunt.
I love how introspective and realistic Aphra can be sometimes despite her outlandish demeanor.
So all in all, I really did enjoy this issue despite the confusing parts. It was filled with typical Aphra twists and Detta, Black Krrsantan, Eustacia, and Aphra were all happily back together in the end...at least for now... In the synopsis for next issue, it looks like Domina will be hiring Sana Starros to exact revenge on Aphra--this is not going to go well.
MY SCORE: 7/10 only because I have a really high bar for Doctor Aphra!!
"Doctor Aphra #5: Fortune and Fate, Part 5--Power Play" written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Marika Cresta and Rachelle Rosenberg
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