Review by Karl Verhoven
So what’s the Screaming Citadel and is it a place you’d want to visit? Well, that depends. Seeing as the literal translation of the place name is “the military expedient construction of loud, shrill exhalations”, it might be wise to stay away, but as Doctor Aphra explains on Marco Checchetto’s sample art, she and Luke Skywalker have good reasons to visit. Luke keeping it from Han, Leia and Sana, however, may not have been wise. Actually, visiting the Queen of Ktath’atn in her citadel wasn’t wise either. Few ever return, and it doesn’t take long to discover she’s keeping beasts even the Empire hasn’t dared weaponising, beasts that symbiotically merge with human hosts.
Andrea Broccardo, Checchetto and Salvador Larroca are three excellent artists, all good with cast likenesses, dynamic pages and good action scenes. Broccardo’s approach nears cartooning, with Larroca aiming at photorealism, and Checchetto’s pages nearer that than Broccardo’s style. Of the three Broccardo’s expressions sometimes tip over into gurning, but that’s being very picky about what are five visually lively chapters.
The last time Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron collaborated on a Star Wars crossover the result was the superb Vader Down. The Screaming Citadel doesn’t match the tension and twists of that story, while still being a very good Star Wars adventure. Both writers provide good bantering dialogue, with Gillen’s morality free characterisation of Aphra’s Triple Zero droid consistently funny, and matching that of his mistress. The person who saves the day (and there was always going to be a person saving the day) is a surprise, as is the way they do so. In isolation this is very satisfying. From here the Star Wars cast head into Out Among the Stars, while Doctor Aphra is next seen in Enormous Profit.