Published on July 25th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Doctor Who – Comic Review
This is a cheeky, extra review, that is a bit late because of all the excitement of Batman Day, but it’s difficult to let these two comics pass without a quick mention.
This week sees Titan Comics’ first Doctor Who stories enter the world. Titan took over the licensing after IWD’s contract ran out and to celebrate they have released not one but two ongoing titles (with a third to start later in the year). Each title will concentrate on the adventures of a different Doctor and the first two titles are for the 10th and 11th incarnations (okay, I may have issues with the numbering of the Doctor’s here because after last year’s anniversary episode the whole numbering system was thrown in the air. True, that has been ignored by pretty much all of the fans but it’s still canon).
Numbering aside I am very excited about these comics and I’ve been waiting for them to come out for several months now. So, were they worth the wait?
The 10th Incarnation: Revolutions of Terror
This is set just after Donna Noble has left the Tardis and the Doctor is once more travelling on his own. The story itself is set in New York and we are introduced to Gabriella who has an unfortunate experience in a Laundrette with her friend. What happens afterwards is that Nick Abadis introduces pretty much all of Gabriella’s family and the restaurant they own and run. The Doctor appears on the peripherals of the story fiddling with his machine that doesn’t go ‘ding’ and just happens to be poking around wherever Gabriella is.
It is obvious from this first issue that Gabriella is being set up to be the Doctor’s new companion which is all so well and good but the focus of this story is entirely on her and her family and barely notices the Doctor. Even when he is in the frame it doesn’t feel quite like the 10th incarnation we are used to from the TV series. In fact, this issue highlights one of the problems I have had with the TV series since it returned in 2006, the obsession with the companion’s family life. Personally I think the constant need to return home gets in the way of the dynamic of the characters and the concept of the Doctor Who story as a whole. But that’s just my opinion. However, I think this comic just illustrates the point because this doesn’t feel like a Doctor Who story. Combine this with the wishy-washy characterisation of the Doctor (he’s just a man in a long coat with a piece of tech) and there’s no hook here, no sense of high adventure which should be there for the first issue of a new Who comic. It’s a disappointment and doesn’t bode well. I will buy the second issue and give it a chance but if you removed the Doctor Who title I wouldn’t bother.
Title: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor
Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
The 11th Incarnation: After Life
So, we trudge onto the second offering from Titan with our heads hung low but the 11th Doctor’s story couldn’t be further from its counterpart if it tried, it is an entirely different kettle of rainbow coloured dogs. The writing on this is brilliant, it’s fast and witty and littered with political jokes and jibes, but what more would expect from Al Ewing & Rob Williams? The basic story line is the same as its counterpart above, we are introduced to the future companion for the Doctor, but here the entire comic reflects the spirit of the 11th Doctor. The story, the alien and the crazy antics are all straight from an episode of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who, and one of the better episodes at that. Alice Obiefune, the new companion to be, has lost so much in her life that everything has become a blur of gray and then the Doctor bursts into her life chasing a rainbow coloured dog. It’s big and barmy but has a very strong heart in the form of Alice. The art work is wonderful as well and captures the antics of the Time Traveller and his life in glorious Technicolor. Even the one page back up strip, Pond Life, feels more like Doctor Who than the 10th Doctor’s comic did.
One caveat, if you’re not a fan of Matt Smith’s Doctor, you may not find this comic as exciting and as funny as I do but even David Tennant fans may struggle with Revolutions of Terror.
Title: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor
Publisher: Titan Comics
Writers: Al Ewing/Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Fraser
In conclusion, Titan have produced one superb Doctor Who comic and one that needs a shift in focus (but this may be coming). I think that’s a good start.
And we have a 12th Incarnation comic coming soon. Spoilt for choice.