SPOILER REVIEW: "Doctor Aphra #7: The Engine Job, Part II: The Offer" by Alyssa Wong
Ahhh!!! This issue was spectacular!! We get Sana Starros back in the fold, Lady Proxima's reappearance, a connection with the Unbroken Clan from the current "Bounty Hunters" series, and more queerness! I am over the moon with how this one played out and I cannot wait to see what Alyssa Wong has in store for us next! What really stuck out to me were the vast amount of solid and exciting connections to previously written material, none of it feeling forced or reaching--it was all just so well-written. The only thing lacking was a scene or even just a panel with the intense and powerful Domina Tagge. But we know she's still behind the scenes calling the shots so I'm sure we'll see her again soon.
From last issue, Aphra was given a job by the aforementioned Domina Tagge to find a Path Engine of Nihil design (re: High Republic baddies) that has resurfaced in the modern galaxy. As noted in my review of the previous issue: *This engine "holds the key to a long lost, incredibly fast method of lightspeed travel" that in Lady Domina's words "could completely change the Galactic economy...or end the war once and for all"--she wants neither as they could both be ruinous to the Tagge Dynasty. She wants Aphra to "find out what that device is, where it came from, and how it works."* Having now read Light of the Jedi, I now have a much better idea of what a Path Engine actually is--they don't actually allow ships to go any faster than other ships, but they do allow ships to skip sideways, diagonally, and every which a way across hyperspace, such that they can avoid the main hyperspace lanes. The only problem with one being available in the modern era is that as far as we know, Path Engines are only able to function because of the coordinates and pathways supplied by one very ancient member of the San Tekka family...meaning she was ancient 200 years ago...so how in the world would they be able to function now?? Hmmm...
While Aphra has yet to get the device in her hands this issue, she certainly moves forward in her hunt for it, involving both Sana and Proxima along the way. Sana of course is none too happy to find her ex (Aphra) hiding out in her dark abode when she arrives home one day. And at first, the smuggler will have nothing to do with the rogue. But Aphra is persistent as always and manages to convince her (by way of sweet rolls) to take her to the Grindalid. I am super crazy intrigued to see what happens with Sana and Aphra's relationship as they begin this new mission together. Will they start back up as lovers? Will they become friends? Or will they remain hated enemies, only working together out of necessity?
We also get eyes on Just Lucky who it turns out has been terminated by the Tagges due to Ronen's untimely death. Just Lucky also makes the following comment after discussing his termination with Lapin, one of Domina's lackeys, "Man, that Lapin...they're cute, but they never make things easy." So!!! Not only is Lapin non-binary, but Just Lucky is attracted to them!! Making both characters queer and my heart super happy. Just Lucky then finds himself returning to the employ of Wen Delphis "leader of the Sixth Kin" who appears to be of some non-Harch spider sentient species. He's too skeletal and not furry enough for the more tarantula-esque Harch species so I'm left super curious as to what awesome new spider sentient we have just been introduced to!! What with his termination and his brother apparently in great debt to this Wen Delphis, he hopes to make up for his troubles by killing for the spider dude.
Then...it's Lady Proxima time!!! And goodness does she look gorgeous!! So good to see this baddie again! Apparently Aphra has wronged her in the past and she's spoiling for a fight. But Aphra, as always, finagles her way out of a tight spot...by coming up with a great lie...and manages to get some info on the Path Engine's recent history courtesy of the Grindalid. We discover that it came into the possession of De'Rryuet Industries by way of a Sullustan named Remy...who we then see being tortured within an inch of his life by Vulkorah, the Unbroken Clan leader from the current "Bounty Hunters" series!! Turns out the Unbroken Clan and Aphra are both after the same thing...does that mean Aphra might make the jump to the "Bounty Hunters" comic as well?? I would be so down for Valance and Aphra meeting!!
After a ton of action involving the reveal of the lie Aphra told Proxima (the "priceless Lengilese Life-Fasting bracelet" she bribed the Grindalid with was actually just a silver-painted detonite ring!! and she had more where that one came from!), Sana and Aphra make their escape with Remy's datapad in hand and discover they must go to an ancient battlefield to follow the Engine Path's trail!! As Aphra puts it--she really can't stop flirting with her ex--"Girls love battlefields." I freaking love it and am so here for this!!
"Doctor Aphra #7: The Engine Job, Part II: The Offer" written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Minkyu Jung, Victor Olazaba, and Rachelle Rosenberg
SCORE: 9.5/10 - This issue was nearly perfect!!
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