SPOILER REVIEW: "Doctor Aphra #8: The Engine Job, Part 3: Old Wounds" by Alyssa Wong
This issue absolutely lived up to my Aphra expectations!! It was funny, exciting, surprising, and included some wonderful canon connections both between series and back to Aphra's past. Sana and Aphra have made their way to Dol'har Hyde in the Outer Rim as they continue their search for the ancient Nihil hyperspace engine Aphra was hired to steal for Lady Domina Tagge. It looks like they might be getting somewhere...and then...well, this is Aphra's story so things of course go very wrong.
We start off with Sana and Aphra discussing Remy, the Sullustan who supposedly has his hands on the hyperdrive, with an Ortolan bartender on Dol'har Hyde and are directed to what amounts to a starship graveyard in the trees...a Nihil starship graveyard (the baddies from the High Republic era)! Supposedly, Remy found the hyperdrive in one of the marooned ships and "sold it on Corellia to a buyer from Midarr," presumably Beol De'rruyet.
The two ex-lovers enter the graveyard in the trees to their peril and as they repel down into one of the trees and one of the ships that it has grown around, Aphra gives Sana a run down on Nihil hyperdrive tech--something that would be quite familiar to readers of the High Republic content, but I'll repeat it here just in case you aren't all caught up. Aphra says, "I've read Old Republic records of Nihil ships doing impossible things with lightspeed. Jumping in close to planets...blinking across battlefields almost instantaneously...it was like magic." As would occur in the world of Aphra, just as she completes her exposition, her carabiner breaks and she falls...hard...a long way down into the ship itself.
Later, Aphra...being Aphra...manages to worm her way into the workings of the derelict ship and extract the casing for the hyperdrive...which turns out to look nothing like the hyperdrive that Remy supposedly found, leading our heroine to believe that Remy is all show and what they are all really looking for is much more complicated and sophisticated. Which leads to the other person involved, De'rruyet, being in Aphra's words, "full of druk." I wonder if they'll ever figure out that it was actually a San Tekka woman who was behind all the crazy hyperspace abilities of the Nihil in addition to their unique hyperdrives???
For a brief moment, things get really juicy between Sana and Aphra as Sana states that Aphra threw away Magna Tolvan easily. Yikes!! That really stings!! Too soon!! And no, I don't think she easily threw away Tolvan...it was an extremely emotional and heavy act when she separated from Magna--those two were definitely in love and remain my favorite queer couple in all of Star Wars canon!! Another fun romantic tidbit was Sana referencing Aphra falling off the rock wall at University!! This was revealed in the Doctor Aphra audio drama as one of Sana and Aphra's first interactions--essentially Aphra got distracted by Sana's sultry voice and lost her grip. *heart*
And then Vukorah of the Unbroken Clan (originally from the current "Bounty Hunters" series) appears and attacks with full force from a number of ships above the graveyard. There's not really any way out for Aphra and Sana...so how will they survive this new mess they've found themselves in???
We also get eyes on Just Lucky as he's on Canto Bight setting up for an assassination of a man watching a fathier race named Alfar Sholt. I'm assuming he's the guy that Lucky was asked to kill by the spider dude Wen Delphis (leader of the Sixth Kin). According to Lucky, Alfar had a business of buying up people's debts and forcing them to work in his casinos...with Lucky's brother's gambling issues, you know the man holds a grudge against such a person! As he's leaving his successful assignment, Lucky runs into a Sixth Kin lieutenant named Ariole Yu...and it seems the two have some sort of past romantically as Lucky says to the other man, "Desperation's never been a good luck for you, sweetheart. Next time, just call me." I am so in love with all the LGBTQ+ goodness in this series!!! It makes my heart so freaking happy. Ariole and Lucky have been asked to appear before Wen Delphis for some unknown reason...to be discovered, hopefully, in issue #9!!
I cannot wait to see where this series is going. There's just so much happening and so many people involved (in a quite sensical way) that every page turn is invigorating. I'll be curious to see if they ever do find the engine in question...and what that will mean for all parties involved...
Oh!! And before I sign off, how adorable is the look on Aphra's face on this cover?? Haha!! She's such a cutie.
"Doctor Aphra #8: The Engine Job, Part 3: Old Wounds" written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Minkyu Jung, Victor Olazaba, and Rachelle Rosenberg
SCORE: 8/10 - I loved it. It was a great issue, but it felt super short. This is the only reason I didn't rank it any higher!
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