Friday, January 15, 2021

Book Review 2020 #5 - Si Spurrier's Worst Among Equals

Worst Among Equals by Si Spurrier
Published by: Marvel
Publication Date: February 8th, 2018
Format: Paperback, 168 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

Aphra has gotten herself into quite the jam. Sure she broke out of prison and narrowly avoided Imperial custody and her old boss Darth Vader, but this might be worse. Turns out one of her prison inmates was the notorious, and psychotic, Doctor Cornelius Evazan. He was posing as a shapeshifter and he's now using Aphra and Triple-Zero in an experiment to amuse himself. Evazan watches through Triple-Zero's eyes as the murderbot and Aprha cross the hostile and ultra lawful Imperial world of Milvayne. They have ten hours before the bomb Evazan has implanted in Aphra's throat explodes. A bomb fitted with a proximity alert. If Aphra or Triple-Zero stray too far apart they both die. And Triple-Zero really wants to see Aphra die... So everything hinges on a sadistic droid and his sense of self-preservation. Oh, this is going to be an epic experiment, one that Evazan feels everyone should see. Soon all of Milvayne is watching the duo's journey which hits stumbling block after stumbling block. Of course Aphra should have known Triple-Zero would kill the only person capable of deactivating the bomb. Then there's the cops now on their trail, oh and don't forget the reanimated bounty hunter Tam Posla who's now a Force-fungus-powered vigilante, the monster hunters Winloss and Nokk, and the shadowy agents of Imperial Propaganda. Seems like Aphra can't catch a break when even her newest allies are turning against her. Here's hoping she can live to see another day or at least the next ten hours...

Seeing as we are all in agreement that last year was shit it shouldn't come as a surprise that sometimes I would be forced to retreat into my happy place. In past years this has been Hogwarts, but J.K. Rowling has kind of ruined that for everyone now hasn't she? So I went back to my old school comfort blanket, Star Wars. For Star Wars Day, May the 4th of course, I grabbed the most recent trade paperback collection and all twelve issues I hadn't caught up on and just gorged myself on the adventures of Doctor Aphra. Because as I've said before when I was introduced to this series back in 2019, this is what Star Wars was and should always be. Sometimes when Aphra's just out for a payday the story doesn't reach the level of perfection it has been known to reach, but this volume had everything I could hope for, in particular, Triple-Zero. I love the interaction of Aphra and the murderbots! The way they play off each other is like a really incredibly dark screwball comedy. Plus it's a nice delineation to show that yes, Aphra does dubious things but she's not pure evil like Triple-Zero and BT-One! I mean Triple-Zero is living for the day he can kill Aphra, which makes this volume so perfect. His life is dependent on Aphra staying alive, so he is constantly weighing the pros and cons of the joy he'd get from her annihilation versus his self-preservation. But you have a feeling that in the end he'll take the delayed gratification of Aphra's death over his own metal hide.


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