Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 4: The Catastrophe Con
Doctor Aphra is behind bars. Again. But this time she’s in Imperial custody, strapped to an explosive transmitter synced to a single hubdroid. Take one step too far? Kablooey! So what happens when Aphra’s captors send her hubdroid right into the middle of a war zone? And what’s this rumor about the prison being haunted?
Meanwhile, Aphra’s got information — and it’s information the Rebellion wants. But how far are they willing to go — and who are they willing to recruit — to get it? Surely even our lovable rogue archaeologist can’t find a way to make things even worse, right? Wrong. Because Aphra’s current flame, Inspector Tolvan, and Aphra’s ex, Sana Starros, are about to meet. Awkward. But that’s nothing compared to a certain tall, dark shadow about to fall across her.
Written by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Kev Walker
Cover by: Ashley Witter
Page Count: 140 Pages
Release Date: January 9 2019
The life of a criminal is not an easy one. There’s always a possibility of getting caught and having to answer for committed crimes, and that’s exactly what’s happened to our favourite, shady archaeologist. However, in this case being incarcerated by the Empire turns out to be just the beginning of Aphra’s problems, and not the worst that could have happened.
The fourth volume of Doctor Aphra, “The Catastrophe Con” starts exactly where Volume 3 ended. Aphra is imprisoned on Imperial station, but despite her optimistic predictions and best efforts she’s not able to escape. Her skills keep her alive and she manages to befriend one of her fellow inmates but tight security and the fact that prisoners are used by the Empire as a cannon fodder make her future look bleak at best.
When she gets the chance to send a message, she chooses an unlikely, yet predictable ally – the Empire’s Magna Tolvan. Being a loyal soldier Tolvan wouldn’t help just out of goodness of her heart, so Aphra resorts to blackmail.
In the meantime we learn that there are others interested in finding Aphra – the Rebel Alliance, because Aphra holds the code to stolen data, a bounty hunter and a former team mate of Aphra who blames her for death of his partner, and an infamous duo of murdering droids – again due to the data Aphra holds.
To makes matters even more complicated Aphra’s ex is after her, there’s a ghost of a Jedi who claims to be Aphra’s mother, Darth Vader gets involved and the prison itself is on the collision course with nearby planet. Will all of that stop Aphra from trying to earn some credits even though it clearly puts her and others at risk?
There’s a lot going on in this story arc. New characters been introduced and there are some familiar faces. Not only ones that we know and love, but also ones that we know will play part in the future.
Aphra’s character develops into a more likeable person and the art has improved, making the whole story less “static” in comparison with the previous book. A much better colour palette is another thing that makes the whole experience more pleasurable.
I really like how the series improves with time, so I’m looking forward to the next Aphra story.