For their first Annual, the creative team behind Doctor Aphra gives some insight into the background of the doctor's dangerous sometime ally, the Wookie bounty hunter known as Black Krrsantan.
A pair of free press-championing reporters tracks down Aphra and Krrsantan for an interview. They ask the Wookie about his past, the bulk of which consists of him being used as a pitfighter for a criminal organization known as the Xonti.
Nothing is ever that simple with Aphra, of course. She has other plans that involve these two reporters, and she executes them while they are distracted with Krrsantan.
This comic brings up an interesting idea for the Star Wars universe. How does the press work in a civilization that spans an entire galaxy? Accepting that anything is technically happening concurrently when the common medium of travel involves travelling, presumably, faster than light, that still opens up how, in the myriad of inhabited planets that exist across this galaxy, they know where to go, who to see, and what to cover.
I'm sure in the monsoon of fiction that was written for this franchise back in the Expanded Universe days (much of which still counts in my head-canon, dammit), I'm sure some of it discussed what the press is like in this galaxy.
In any case, it's an interesting idea to insert, even if it isn't explored that much here. That's fair; it's not exactly what the story is about. Plus, the pair are actually pretty likable characters, and I do hope they get to make a return at some point in one of Marvel's Star Wars titles.
The story of Black Krrsantan is about as vicious and brutal as one could expect. This Wookie has been through a hell of a time, much of which he chose to put himself through. This is no sad history or redeeming insight with Krrsantan: he is a cruel bastard, and he is pretty proud of it.
Consequently, Aphra takes a back seat for most of the comic, but she is still undeniably Aphra. She is still sly, duplicitous, and endearing as hell. This is a great character, and I'm so glad she got to spin off from the Darth Vader comic.
The art is pretty damn fantastic, with Marc Laming and Will Sliney putting some gorgeous forms to the page. This comic looks plain awesome, and their styles are congruent enough that I didn't even notice there was a second artist until I went back to the credits page. Jordan Boyd uses a wide palette to express the different environments and atmospheres of this comic, and he succeeds in really knocking it out of the park in the color art department.
Doctor Aphra has maintained the high standard of quality that has come to be expected of Marvel's Star Wars offerings, and the Annual proves no different. With a fun premise, cool characters, and fantastic artwork, Doctor Aphra Annual #1 gets my seal of approval.