Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Darth Vader #25.
Star Wars spinoff Darth Vader has been one of Marvel’s most popular series, as well as a continuing reminder of the star power of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Vader’s wheeling and dealing with bounty hunters and hassling with ambitious Imperials was a fantastic way to further explore his dark days following Episode IV: A New Hope. More than just a Vader-fest, though, the Kieron Gillen-written Salvador Larroca-drawn comic book run also pulled a number of fascinating characters into its orbit, including the return of A New Hope baddie General Tagge, the introduction of the duplicitous Cylo, and of course, Doctor Aphra.
Sadly, the ongoing came to an end today with issue #25, as Vader tied up his loose ends. However, those looking for more Darth-related sagas will be happy to know that Marvel just unveiled their curiously classified Star Wars comic book.
In the denouement of Darth Vader, the fan-loved Doctor Aphra managed to slip through the icy grips of space and Vader, coming out to scrap droids and scavenge artifacts yet another day. For their latest Star Wars title, Kieron Gillen will reprise his authorial role on the series, with Kev Walker (Marvel Zombies) providing artwork for Aphra’s continued adventures. She’ll also reteam with her trusty droids 0-0-0 and BT-1, as well as her Wookiee cohort Black Krrsantan. In an interview with Star Wars, Gillen describes his interest in working further with the Doctor:
“What I wanted to do was show what makes Aphra tick. That’s the work I feel I’ve got to do with the character, and that kind of push and pull she has between the stuff she does, which is good and bad.”
It sounds as though the latest ongoing book in Marvel’s interesting Star Wars run will deal with life after Vader for the eclectic character. Until the Sith Lord discovers her continued existence, Aphra will keep scouring for ruins and repairing droids in order to escape her debts and evade the bounty hunters on her tail. Star Wars comic editor Jordan D. White mentioned Marvel's excitement at further exploring with the not-so-good doctor, saying, “We love Aphra so much. We were overjoyed that she found a way to survive the wrath of the Dark Lord.”
Check out the official synopsis and a first look at the cover below:
Following her time in the clutches of Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra has barely escaped with her life. If he ever learns of her survival, he’ll hunt her to the ends of the galaxy. But for now, it’s time for a return to what she does best. With the droids 0-0-0 and BT-1 in tow, she’s off in search of rare artifacts from the galactic center to the Outer Rim and everywhere in between. Aphra’s got debts to pay after all. Just as long as she can stay one step ahead of the Empire, some Bounty Hunters and just about everyone else in the galaxy!
During the series, Doctor Aphra rapidly grew in popularity as an original character, with fans enjoying her scrappy anti-Indiana Jones persona, her deviant droids, and her overall chutzpah. Few of the Star Wars Universe's occupants have had the guts to deal with Vader, let alone double-deal on him and live to tell the tale. She also wound up providing much needed comic relief, as her sarcastic edge played well off the deadly-serious Sith Lord. Many fans were likely relieved when the epilogue to the series revealed the crafty archeologist slipping away from certain death.
Giving Aphra a series away from her comic foil will be an interesting turn, though. She may have showcased her charm and likability during her time apart from Vader – especially during the Rebel lockup story arc. Carrying a book is one thing, however; carrying an entire series is a bird of a different feather. Much like Poe Dameron and Ahsoka Tano, though, the plucky droid-builder should have more than enough dark history and quips to keep fan interest high – especially with Gillen’s pen behind her. After all, everyone loves an anti-hero.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra hits shelves December 7th, 2016.
Source: Marvel, Star Wars