Book Review: Star Wars – Doctor Aphra, Vol. 4: The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier

Image Description: the book-cover of Star Wars – Doctor Aphra, Vol. 4: The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier.

Title: Star Wars – Doctor Aphra, Vol. 4: The Catastrophe Con
Creators: Simon Spurrier (Writer), Kev Walker (Illustrator), and Ashley Witter (Illustrator)
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Format and Price: Kindle format at $14.07
Stars: 5 stars out of 5

About The Creators:
The relevant links are available above.

About The Book:
Collects Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20-25.

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 rumour 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.

Yar! Thar Be Spoilers Ahead! Ye Have Been Warned

General Observation:
~Leeroy Jenkins + Batman Gambit = Plot: Doctor Aphra has multiple back-up plans for escaping a bad situation, which is a good thing because most of her plans tend to backfire on her. Five different beings, including Darth Vader, show up at this floating Space-Prison to either rescue, capture, or kill Doctor Aphra. All of them have their own schemes and agendas.

Meanwhile, the floating Space-Prison is going to crash land into a Rebel-base Planet, killing who knows how many citizens, and Doctor Aphra and her rag-tag bunch of misfits have to escape. Why? Because a deadly space-fungi took over a Jedi’s corpse and has started spreading throughout the Space-Prison. It also wants a new host.

The problem with Doctor Aphra’s thought process is that it relies on Tam Posla doing exactly what she thinks he’ll do. There was no guarantee he would even show up or on time. Tam Posla could have easily decided that his idea of justice and rules don’t apply to someone like Doctor Evazan, or Doctor Aphra for that matter.

If Tam Posla had decided to shoot “Doctor Evazan”, right there and then, the ending of this comic would have been very different.

~Moral Event Horizon: This volume seems to be highlighting the cost of Triple-Zero and Doctor Aphra’s ambitions. Triple-Zero could have arranged for Tam Posla to bring Doctor Aphra to him. Instead, Triple-Zero and BeeTee-One go to the Space-Prison directly.

This results in Darth Vader causing serious damage to BeeTee-One. It’s implied that there’s a bond between BeeTee-One and Triple-Zero and that Triple-Zero cares about BeeTee-One’s wellbeing.

In this volume, every time Doctor Aphra wants to either escape the Space-Prison, and obtain the Ancient Light-Sabre, it blows up in her face. When Doctor Aphra tries to save Sanna with the emergency pod, Tolvan ends up tagging along.

When the Tam Posla plan falls through, Tolvan ends up calling in Darth Vader. When Tolvan agrees to sacrifice herself, Doctor Aphra arguably takes that situation too far, and forces Tolvan to think that she had killed Doctor Aphra. Tolvan is clearly traumatised by what Doctor Aphra has done.

None of that would have happened if Doctor Aphra had just gotten into the damn emergency pod. Instead, both Triple-Zero and Doctor Aphra end up being captured by Doctor Evazan, with bombs strapped to their heads. Hubris at it’s finest.

~Cliff-Hanger Ending: Doctor Evazan is a character that’s been built up in the reader’s minds since Volume 3 and, I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried Doctor Evazan wouldn’t live up the hype. I am happy to report that this was not the case. Doctor Evazan is just as monstrous as Tam Posla and Caysin Bogg would have led us to believe.

All in all, a dark addition to the series, where it seems that Triple-Zero and Doctor Aphra’s actions appear to have long-lasting consequences, and it may even result in Triple-Zero and Doctor Aphra having to work together in the next volume. At this point, anything is possible, and that isn’t always a good thing.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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