Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Ongoing Coming From Gillen & Walker

After being teased last month as "Star Wars: Classified," StarWars.com has revealed the next title to debut in Marvel's line of comics: "Star Wars: Doctor Aphra."

As teased, the series will be written by "Darth Vader" scribe Kieron Gillen and feature art from Kev Walker ("Uncanny Inhumans," "Avengers"). Kamome Shirahama will provide covers for the series. The series joins fellow ongoings "Star Wars" and "Poe Dameron" in Marvel's line. "Doctor Aphra" also marks a first: it's the first comic series to star a character originally created for Marvel and not featured in the movies. Additionally, Doctor Aphra was one of the first characters created for the new canon.

A renegade archaeologist and brilliant technician, Doctor Aphra debuted in "Darth Vader" #3. She assisted Darth Vader in his quest to track down the identity of the Rebel pilot that destroyed the Death Star by repairing and activating the murder droids BT-1 and 0-0-0. Aphra proved herself useful to Vader numerous times, but also marked herself for death the more personal information she discovered about the Sith Lord. The final issue of "Darth Vader," which arrived in stores today, featured -- SPOILER ALERT -- Aphra's final confrontation with Vader. The series ended with Aphra narrowly escaping death, unbeknownst to Vader, and jumping into hyperspace with the bounty hunter Black Krrsantan and BT-1 and 0-0-0 by her side.

Gillen spoke about how the series relates to "Darth Vader," noting that it picks up pretty much right where "Darth Vader" #25 leaves off. "[I]f Darth Vader ever finds out Aphra survived, she’s dead again. So she’s living in hiding," said Gillen. "She’s trying to get back to her life of archaeology and she’s dealing with the fact that she has enormous debts. She owes Black Krrsantan, the Wookiee, enormous amounts of money, so she has to try to pay him off, but the bigger problem is that she promised to help locate the people who trained and tortured him. She is trying to deal with the droids [Triple Zero and Beetee], and the droids are a ticking-time bomb, shall we say. In the last series, Vader obviously was the big threat you were meant to be scared of, and the droids become increasingly serious. [Laughs]"

Gillen's also excited about finding out what makes Aphra tick independently of Vader. "That’s the work I feel I’ve got to do with the character, and that kind of push and pull she has between the stuff she does which are good [and bad]. She believes in the Empire in a weird way, she just doesn’t really want to obey them. [Laughs] She kind of thinks the Empire is probably, on the larger scale of things, good. She’s a child who grew up in war, and war has killed many more people than a fascist regime. At the same time, she’s not going to obey the fascist regime."

"Star Wars: Doctor Aphra" #1 and #2 will arrive in December.

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