While we had seen Star Wars Black Series figures based on the animated Rebels and Clone Wars series, 2019 saw the first figures based on the Star Wars Comics from Marvel. Riding on a popularity wave of her own making, Doctor Aphra was released in wave 21 along with her two droids Beetee and Triple Zero.
Doctor Aphra is number 87 in the phase 3 packaging and arrives in the standard black box with red spine and figure backdrop. As we saw with the Rebels figures, Aphra has been translated from the pages of her comic series to the Black Series line by means of a realistic head sculpt and Gregory Titus artwork - although the two do not appear to be a complete match.
The figure is not subtitled with her origin, which may cause confusion to anyone unfamiliar with the comic series. Perhaps the figure needed a smaller logo like we see with Battlefront releases or the upcoming Fallen Jedi figures.
Round the back of the box we do get a short bio about the character and it is intriguing enough for you to want to go and find out more about Aphra (I am currently reading her full series starting with the Darth Vader series).
"On a mission gone wrong, Doctor Aphra finds herself at the hands of the formidable Sith Lord, Darth Vader. A rare survivor of such meetings, Aphra is recruited by Vader for her skills in reprogramming droids and her apparent lack of remorse for breaking the law to get what she wants."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
It is very difficult to comment on a sculpt that is not based on a real person. What Hasbro have done is extrapolate Aphra to a real world equivalent and it is that face that is printed onto the sculpted head. You can see now how the figure of Aphra is a fuller face and with bigger eyes than the box illustration and I wonder if the artists involved were working from different concepts.
That all being said, once you add her flight cap then this is definitely Aphra. The rest of her costume is faithfully recreated, with finishes copied from similar parts like the gunslinger belt which is decorated very similar to Han Solo's. The only gripe with the costume is the recurrence of the thighs vs legs issue - with the top of Aphra's legs being a different shade to the rest of them.
While most of the costume is cast in the base colour, we do have a wash over the gillet and over the legs - it may even be this wash that has been missed over the top parts that creates the variance. There is also a very neat recreation of Aphra's arm electro-tattoos.
Aphra scales well with the other Black Series figures and with her accompanying droids from Wave 21 - Beetee and Triple Zero.
As we have seen, Aphra comes with a removable flight helmet. This is cast in rubbery plastic and fits perfectly over the head to a snug fit without looking oversized. The helmet is a brown base colour, but is washed to weather it with the goggles and strap then painted on top.
Aphra is armed with a DL-44 blaster. This is cast in grey with a painted barrel in silver. This is the same blaster as was packed with Jaina Solo in 2017. The Blaster fits comfortably in Aphra's right hand where a trigger finger slots in place. It can also be holstered if you wish into the working holster on her right hip.
Aphra comes with a standard set of 16 points of articulation. With her slim build and with no bulky amour, cloaks, capes or skirts - she is fully mobile.
Head : ball joint pivot neck
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, rotating single elbow joint, pivot wrist
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees, ankle rockers
Aphra stands perfectly well and all her joints are tight and robust. It is good to see the sculpt and articulation capture the swagger and casual confidence of Aphra as we often see illustrated in the comics. It gives the figure a sense of character.
While not everyone may be familiar with Doctor Aphra, she has reached a level of popularity in the last few years to warrant a Black Series figure ahead of other big names from the movies. She is also selling out fast from wave 21 and may end up being a very sought after figure on the secondary market in a year or two.
She does everything a figure should. The sculpt is realistic, while still the Aphra we know from the comics. The paint is neat - with just a small issue with colour matching on the legs - and she is well articulated.
In an ever expanding universe we should expect many more figures of this type - either from the movies, TV, video games and comics - and if they are all as well done as Doctor Aphra then I for one will be voting with my wallet. I score Doctor Aphra a 4 out of 5.