Comics Focus: The Screaming Citadel

The gang reluctantly teams up with Aphra for a horrifying adventure

Announced at Celebration in Orlando last April, The Screaming Citadel is a crossover that takes place after volume five of the main Star Wars storyline and after Doctor AphraVolume One. While it isn’t totally necessary to have read Doctor Aphra Volume One (I didn’t) it would probably aid in understanding where she acquired the “Jedi” artifact. I was really excited when I heard about this one in the comics panel as the storyline sounded exciting, and man does it deliver.

The Screaming Citadel

Screaming_Citadel_Comic_Review

After acquiring a mysterious artifact she believes to contain the consciousness of a long-dead Jedi, Aphra recruits Luke to help her unlock it, promising him he’ll be the first to access the knowledge held within. Of course, to do this they have to visit the Queen of Ktath’atn who only sees visitors one night a year and will offer one of them a favor in exchange for meeting one of the galaxy’s oddest beings. Aphra swears she can unlock the artifact, and that she’ll only want to meet and talk to Luke. Unfortunately for them, the Queen has other ideas and by the time Aphra realizes it, it’s almost too late.

When Han and Leia find out that Luke has gone missing and thanks to Sana who with, the three of them set out to rescue Luke before the Queen can “receive” him. In order to infiltrate the famous “Screaming Citadel” and find Luke and Aphra, they’re going to need a little help from everyone’s favorite murder droids. When the truth of the citadel is revealed, it’s a toss-up whether the droids or the citadel will kill them first.

As crossovers go, this one was really good. I’m not a big fan of Aphra, but I like seeing her pop in and out of the main storyline in these crossovers. Her moral ambiguity is a great addition to the Star Wars canon where so many of the characters tend to fall squarely on one side or the other. The storyline of this one is equal parts creepy and horrifying and definitely qualifies as an exciting adventure. Unfortunately, knowing that the characters will survive the ordeal does take some of the suspense away. The addition of the Abersyn symbiotes, which even the Empire won’t go near and wants to eradicate, adds a creep factor to the Star Wars canon that wasn’t there before. I’m a Stargate fan and these guys make the Goa’uld look peaceful.

Veteran Star Wars Authors and Artists Work Together

Screaming-Citadel-Review

Jasaon Aaron is the writer for the main storyline while Kieron Gillen writes the Aphra comic and previously wrote the Darth Vader (2015-2016) comics. They melded their storylines and characters together well. Gillen is also known for his non-Star Wars ongoing comic with Image Comics, TheWicked + The Divine.

Three different artists worked on this volume. The artist for The Screaming Citadel #1 was Marco Checchetto, Star Wars #31-32’s artist was Salvador Larroca, and Doctor Aphra #7-8 were done by Andrea Broccardo. While I initially liked Larroca’s photo realistic art the first time I saw it, now that I’ve continued to see it in various volumes and side by side with other artist’s work, I’ve come to dislike it as much as other fans do. While he does do a good job of capturing the looks of the characters on some panels, on others they don’t look a darn thing like the characters and sometimes they look downright weird and/or creepy. Which I guess works for a storyline that’s creepy, but overall it’s just jarring compared to the other artists included here. I much prefer Cocchetto’s work or even Broccardo’s. I know Checchetto previously worked on Shattered Empire and Obi-Wan and Anakin, and I’d love to see him do more work in this universe.

Overall, I recommend this storyline to fans of either the main Star Wars comic or Doctor Aphra. It’s a great crossover event that doesn’t require you to have read both comics leading up to this.

The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.

Melissa Villy

I'm Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I'm a teen services librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I'm also secretly a Jedi.

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