Nokk and Winloss are a pair of galactic beast hunters on a remote planet beyond the Outer Rim. They've been hired by Doctor Aphra to hunt down an ancient mythical beast protecting a treasure in an ancient temple. Aphra is working on behalf of a crime lord who wants their own giant monster pet (think like Jabba the Hutt's Rancor). However, Nokk and Winloss quickly notice that they are far from the first beast hunters on this mission, and Aphra is hiding many details from them.
Doctor Aphra Annual #2 doesn't focus too much on Aphra herself, with Nokk and Winloss being the main characters of this particular tale. They are also one of the most adorable couples I've ever seen and have a unique repertoire that comics could rarely match.
Winloss is a human tech-junkie and is a bit less scrupulous than Nokk. Nokk is a Trandoshan who refuses to kill beasts and was exiled from her clan for not skinning an infant Wookie.
The two have wonderful chemistry that is strained by the dishonest and manipulative Doctor Aphra.
On top of this, I'm an easy sell for a good old-fashioned monster hunt, and there is a monster at the end of this story.
Caspar Wijngaard takes care of the art and color in this story, and the story looks great. There is a palpable kinetic energy to the fight scenes, the characters are expressive (impressive considering one is a Trandoshan lizard-person), and the monster has a decent design. Doctor Aphra is as smug and cheerful as ever herself. The color art is bright and energetic too, and the book overall triumphs under Wijngaard.
Doctor Aphra Annual #2 is an endearing and high-action adventure story set around two new characters in the Star Wars continuity. The dialogue is charming, the pacing is solid, and the art is great. This one comes with a recommendation. Check it out.