Writers: TC Eglington, Si Spencer, Alan Grant, Dan Abnett, Tony Lee Artists: Karl Richardson, Henry Flint, Paul Marshall, Phil Winslade, Lee Carter Inker: Eva De La Cruz, Dyan Teague Letterer: Anne Parkhouse, Simon Bowland, Ellie de Ville Publisher: Rebel
Megazine 345 continues several stories, without kickstarting any new ones. After witnessing a murder while testing a suit that allows them to climb walls, the mob and the Law are after the siblings in the conclusion of ‘Gecko’. They have an often tender back and forth – not to mention a cool suit – so it’s a shame they had a short run.
Part three of HAVN suggests something is rotten in Nu-Iceland. When a screaming man blows himself up, Judge Hoffman discover he was wearing a collar to disguise his identity – like the recently caught Abby. How many ‘Alfar’ are secretly living under the dome? We’ve no idea, but Henry Flint art has a wonderful Seventies sci-fi vibe that is enhanced by Eva de la Cruz’s vivid colouring.
Colonial Marshall Metta Lawless’ attempt to bring mega-corporation Munce Inc to book has deadly consequences in space western ‘Long Range War Part 5’. Dan Abnett’s story sets up a shocking betrayal, while Phil Winslade’s intricate black-and-white artwork continues to impress.
Despite being the cover feature, ‘Dragon Blood: part five’ only serves to fill pages. Anderson’s daring escape includes hoverboards and psychic dragons, but doesn’t do much to move the story along.
However, the first volume of Necrophim also comes with the issue. This dark fantasy about political intrigue amongst the fallen angels of Hell is like an infernal Game of Throne. Lee Carter’s greyscale artwork feels appropriately moody and some of his disfigured demons are the stuff of nightmares.
One of the more popular new characters to emerge from Star Wars’ Disneyinduced comic-book resurgence, the revelation that rogue ‘archaeologist’ Doctor Aphra would be getting her own series was both welcome in that she was getting the exposure the character deserved, and refreshing in its indication that they wouldn’t just be focusing on the old favourites.
Saying that, nostalgia has been the buzzword in the new Star Wars era, and Aphra’s choice of companions are indicative of this: bounty-hunter wookiee Black Krrsantan (who only sticks around because of the heavy debt owed to him by Aphra), and homicidal C-3P0 and R2-D2 analogues 0-0-0 and BT-1, whose solution to every situation generally involves a heavy overdose of as much capital-r ruthlessness as possible.
Moreover, the Star Wars moral patchwork has become progressively more grey of late, and again that’s reflected here. As evidenced by her willingness to work with Darth Vader, she’s morally bankrupt and out for herself, yet she’s still easy to root for. This could be attributed to the tried and tested method of surrounding her with a number of similarly selfcentred companions, but that would be to do a disservice to the work Kieron Gillen has done in creating a character to stand out alongside some of cinema’s most classic creations.
Essentially, this is Raiders Of The Lost Ark in space, and every bit as fun as it sounds. The next volume will be crossover-heavy, so in the meantime, treasure this slice of Aphra getting her own space.