• Marie E. Wilson

SPOILER REVIEW: "Doctor Aphra #9: The Engine Job, Part IV: Impossibilities" by Alyssa Wong

"The Engine Job, Part IV: Impossibilities" is the 9th issue of the 2020- "Doctor Aphra" long-run comic series. It was written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Minkyu Jung, Victor Olazaba, and Rachelle Rosenberg, and published by Marvel Comics on April 21, 2021.

This was a fun issue albeit I'm still not 100% on all the different people involved in this whole path engine fiasco. Luckily, the plot was streamlined a bit in this issue so that it was easier to follow along. There was plenty of action, both big and bold as well as hand to hand, and the artwork displayed all this with aplomb. Sana and Aphra continue to have a wonderful chemistry with banter, a little flirting, and really playing off each other's personalities. Alyssa Wong is doing such a fantastic job with carrying that relationship forward in the timeline--it's almost as if they were her creation! Super impressive! My only gripe is that I'm not sure I understand the title...I don't know what it could be referring to that could be impossible?? Perhaps the engine's existence?

We left off last issue with General Vukorah of the Unbroken Clan shooting down the ship Sana and Aphra were inside of in the starship graveyard of Dol'har Hyde. Everyone's after an old Nihil path engine that's been discovered with Aphra having been hired by Lady Domina Tagge. And Aphra's just found out that Beol De'Rruyet's engine is a fake!!

Vukorah and the Unbroken Clan annihilating all who stand in her way!!

There are three separate sections in this issue: Aphra and Sana on the trail of the path engine, Lady Domina overseeing from afar aboard the Acquisitor, and Just Lucky and Ariole beating people up for the Sixth Kin. I'm not all that sure what role the third story line plays...it seems more off-shoot and random than anything. The first two are intimately connected as Lady Domina is the one who hired Aphra in the first place and caused this whole journey to begin. And what a journey it has been so far!

To nobody's surprise, our two "heroes" survive, although Sana is wounded--nothing a little bacta spray can't handle though (in contrast to what the cover would have you believe...). They leave Dol'har Hyde and head off to Midarr for the path engine auction. Once there, they disguise themselves as interns and discover that the engine is a badly made reproduction. As Aphra puts it, "it's hideous. A child could have built a better reproduction. These parts look genuine, but the rest is an elaborate guess." And after a little digging, Aphra discovers that the engine would combust upon jumping to lightspeed and that Beol has a one-way ticket to Mon Cala for the next day--he's ready to get out of dodge and escape any blame for the faultiness of his fake engine. But Vukorah shows up, ready to claim the engine for herself...

Lady Domina receives a holocall from Admiral Sheravin of the Empire who warns the Tagge matriarch that if the touted hyperdrive engine of Beol De'Rruyet functions as advertised, the Empire will no longer have need for the Tagges' services--something Lady Domina is not going to allow to happen. This woman is such a bada**, I really want to see her more in this series!

Ariole kicking butt at Club Lazuli for the Sixth Kin.

Just Lucky and Ariole are at Club Lazuli in Canto Bight and Ariole is beating up everybody in his path. They're after a guy named Koz who owes the Sixth Kin a lot of money. Once caught, Koz proclaims that something big is coming and that the Sixth Kin is about to be wiped out. Could this have to do with the path engine?? Or is it something else entirely?? There's got to be a reason for this plot line, but at the moment I can't make the proper connections to have it make sense. The one cool thing is that this issue confirms Ariole and Just Lucky used to be a couple!! Here's to continued representation in this fabulous sector of the Star Wars publishing galaxy!!

On to next issue, will Aphra help save the day from the Unbroken Clan and the dangerous fake engine?? Or will she be selfish...as usual...and try to make a quick buck?? I cannot wait to find out!! Coinciding with all the path engine drama that's going on, is this series' version of the "War of the Bounty Hunters" Prelude. It will be called "The Invitation." Who is inviting who?? And what are they inviting people to?? I am so incredibly excited to find out how this multiple prelude "War of the Bounty Hunters" intro thing is going to work!! It seems like a massive undertaking and I am so here for this kind of connectivity!!

MY SCORE: 7.5/10 because while the story seems a bit disjointed at times, the interactions between Sana and Aphra are gold and the artwork is vivid and engaging!

"Doctor Aphra #9: The Engine Job, Part IV: Impossibilities" written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Minkyu Jung, Victor Olazaba, and Rachelle Rosenberg

About Marie:

I am so excited to have joined the Beyond the Blast Doors Star Wars conversation! As a person who is deeply passionate about every aspect of the galaxy far, far away, I'm always looking for ways to spread my Star Wars joy and love.

I've spoken at cons and written articles on a variety of Star Wars topics but one of my biggest passions is the canon literature. I hope to help you find your way through the Maelstrom because what is out there is truly amazing!

Email: aphrasartifacts@gmail.com

Twitter: @aliamorgaine

Blog: www.thestarwarsreview.blogspot.com