Published on October 15th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Doctor Who: 12th Doctor – Review
There’s something amiss on Isen IV and it’s not just the tendrils of molten rock dragging planet surveyors to their doom or the fact that The Doctor turned up expecting a frozen wasteland of a plant. Somewhere on the planetoid Hyperios Rises.
The first Twelfth Doctor comic from Titan opens with a man and his robot on a mission to check out some random seismic disturbance. When they get there Zaxx realises that there is a greater danger, the luxurious lake “ideal for skinny-dipping” has been replaced by a vast expanse of molten rock. Zaxx decides not to hang around and turns to leave, but his robot companion has other ideas and Zaxx becomes the first victim of this story.
And then the Doctor turns up with Clara in tow. A massive discussion on board the TARDIS reveals that The Doctor is taking Clara to the frozen world of Isen IV so that she can teach herself to ski, although she doesn’t at first understand that she has to teach herself, believing that The Doctor will teach her. When they make planet fall they discover that the planet is anything but an ice ball and immediately the Timelord knows that there has been some outside interference. It is later revealed that he knew this before hand after receiving a warning message in the TARDIS.
The time travelling duo at first get arrested by a space shuttle of robots but after a little sonic screwdriver action that alters the robots outlook on things, one of the local terraformers accepts that they may be of help. The planet has been terraformed to be host to one of the wealthiest man in the universe as he embarks on his honeymoon and he’s not happy that a stranger is poking around.
The character of the twelfth Doctor is spot on; he is brash and rude and covers up his knowledge of what’s going on by engaging in small talk. The visual representation is a little bit patchy but Dave Taylor manages to capture the facial expressions that define Peter Capaldi’s take on the Timelord. There are the instant switches from maniacal to patronising and the Doctor is all teeth and angry eyebrows. As for the rest of the artwork, the Alien species and hostile plant are very detailed and contain an interesting mix of the outlandish and the recognisable. However the other ‘human’ characters are lacking in the same emotional expression allowed for The Doctor: Clara especially has a limited ranger of facial expressions and appears either to be overtly happy or stuck in pouty mode.
Clara’s inclusion in the story mirrors her continued existence in the television show and her role does not extend passed a reason for The Doctor to go to the planet in the first place. I, personally, am a little disappointed that they didn’t start the adventure with The Doctor travelling on his own and introduce a new companion. They have done this with each of the other incarnations and it’s no secret that Clare is leaving the series so it feels a prime opportunity to introduce someone new. And, if you’re like me and think Clara has already out lived her time in the TARDIS, her inclusion is nothing more than an unnecessary link to the current series.
Moans about the companion aside, this first outing for the twelfth Doctor is a promising start with a blend of humour and mystery that matches the tone of the current series. However, without the need to feed into the TV shows’ series arc, the narrative is free to tell the story without the interference that is making the TV episodes disjointed. This comic falls somewhere between the other Titan Doctor Who comics, not as engaging as the Eleventh Doctor but much more entertaining than the Tenth Doctor’s current adventure.
Title: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor
Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Dave Taylor