It’s a double War of the Bounty Hunters week, with this issue of Doctor Aphra first up according to the crossover’s checklist, followed by the next issue of the crossover’s main series.

Doctor Aphra and friends infiltrate Crimson Dawn’s auction of the frozen-in-carbonite Han Solo. A number of highly notable, notorious underworld figures – the real scum and villainy of the universe – are also in attendance, with many of them not exactly on friendly terms with our eponymous archaeologist. None more so than one particular figure though, whose presence truly shakes up our title character…

After a few seriously underwhelming issues of Doctor Aphra, which felt like they were doing too much to tie up loose ends from ongoing adventures as well as awkwardly shoehorn in the plot of the crossover, there’s finally a great balance of Aphra’s story within a War of the Bounty Hunters framework. It’s a compelling and straightforward setup – and though basic knowledge of the seedier side of the Star Wars Universe (plus, the crossover is working some magic in making Solo required viewing) is still pretty necessary to get some of the importance of many characters, it’s a relatively accessible story, high on tension and some very dramatic moments, that feels mostly self-contained.

The art is a little wobbly in a few scenes, feeling a bit rushed, but other than that this is a strong showing for the crossover in a series that so far hadn’t really justified its inclusion in War of the Bounty Hunters. Great stuff.

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