Darth Vader’s former assistant finds herself at the same event as the Sith Lord – who she previously betrayed – and relives the trauma of his threat to track her down.
Though we’re still seeing the Crimson Dawn auction playing out, it does feel as if we’re finally, nearly, ready to move on. There’s actually some really good stuff in this issue, which helps to ground Aphra – whose panic we share; readers know full well the consequences of slightly underperforming in service of Vader, let alone betraying him – and her companions, with Crimson Dawn’s tendrils seemingly wrapped around a lot more of the seedy underbelly of the universe than was previously thought.
The art is as strong as ever in Doctor Aphra’s series, with Minkyu Jung’s art proving dynamic and expressive, shorn of the usual over-reliance on photo reference that can blight the Star Wars titles. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring is superb too; not usually the sort of thing that stands out to me, but in this issue there’s a great spotlighting of Vader checking out the main characters from across the room that uses colour to brilliantly focus on the Sith Lord and where his attention is.
Some of the more interesting action happens away from that endless auction, however, with Aphra’s friends Lucky and Ariole running into some deadly trouble of their own.
It’s hardly essential to the overall plot of the crossover it’s part of – with quite a bit of War of the Bounty Hunters still to go – but it’s a great part of Aphra’s series; I’m definitely warming to the characters in these comics. If the series continues as strongly as issue 13, perhaps I’ll stay aboard after this interminably long and drawn out crossover has concluded.
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