Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #1 Review


The origin of Black Krrsantan is revealed.

Kieron Gillen has built up quite an impressive cast of new Star Wars creations over the past three years. This standalone issue allows Gillen and guest artists Marc Laming and Will Sliney to explore the murky past of Aphra’s oversized enforcer, Black Krrsantan. The result isn’t an essential addition to the ongoing series, but a fun romp all the same.

Thankfully, Gillen doesn’t make the mistake of trying too hard to humanize Krrsantan. There’s no tragic tale of a kindly Wookiee family man losing his wife and children or any of that. Instead, the theme of this issue revolves more around how that bloodlust has lurked within Krrsantan from the beginning, even before he became a cybernetically enhanced bounty hunter. Gillen certainly provides valuable insight into what motivates Krrsantan and his peculiar sense of Wookiee morality. But never does this issue try to suggest Krrsantan is anything other than a criminal and a killer. Some characters don’t need to be more complicated than that.


This issue veers between past and present as Krrsantan regales a pair of journalists with his life’s story and Aphra hatches her own scheme (one that loosely ties into the events of the series’ current story arc). It’s an amusing premise (and one that makes the most of Krrsantan’s inability to speak in traditional dialogue), though I wish the transitions between the two time periods were handled with a little more grace. The journalists themselves also aren’t quite as well-developed as they could be, though at least their witty banter is entertaining.

Given that there are two artists on this issue, it’s disappointing that they weren’t juggled more effective. Had Laming handled the present-day sequences and Sliney all the flashbacks, the transitions might have been executed better. As it is, Sliney merely ffills in for one four-page sequence near the end of the issue. The good news is that the their two styles complement one another and the general tone established by artists like Kev Walker on the main series. Doctor Aphra operates on the seedier, more unusual side of the Star Wars universe, and both Laming and Sliney are able to capture that quality while bringing a detailed, confident quality to the book.

The Verdict

While not necessarily an essential read, Doctor Aphra Annual #1 serves as a fun opportunity to become a little more familiar with Black Krrsantan. Writer Kieron Gillen is able to lend new insight into this character without diminishing his fearsome aura. And while the art could do more to ease the transitions between past and present, Marc Laming and Will Sliney are right at home in this corner of the Star Wars franchise.

Editors’ Choice

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