Written by George Mann | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
This issue is a great one for both ongoing fans, and for people thinking about giving this title a go. For ongoing fans, this takes place after Clara Oswald’s last adventure with The Doctor, that one which saw her depart as his companion, and as we know from experience a companion-less Doctor tends to be even more of a loose cannon than normal. For potential new readers, this is that nirvana that editors dream of, the ‘great jumping on point’ issue, where you can pick up and run with this current incarnations future adventures, and be in on the ground floor for any new companions that may show up. Fresh starts are nice now and again to shake up a book, give it a fresh coat of paint, and perhaps adjust the direction it was previously pointing in.
We join The Doctor enjoying a music gig, a punk one at that, in the 40th Century, in a space city called The Twist. While chatting to ‘looking suspiciously like new companion material’ Hattie, a young female member of the band he was watching, The Doctor gets involved in helping a man running from the police. Turns out this man has been accused of the death of a councillor, Idra Panatar, who was a friend of his, but claims she was murdered by creatures that live in the shadows. It also turns out that The Doctor wasn’t in that place and time by coincidence either, he was looking for this man at the gig.
As The Doctor slips into detective mode, and drags Hattie along with him, they discover the dead friend wasn’t quite as innocent as Jakob thought. A hidden room full on monitors watching the entire city begs the question was the friend trying to keep the presence of these wolf creatures hidden, or trying to expose them. Travelling to a nearby park, where many of the wolf sightings have taken place, the authorities catch up with them and they make a break further into the trees. Turns out though, it wasn’t just the security police following them….
This was a fun start to a new chapter for the Twelfth Doctor. An adventure that suits his character, and a blank slate in terms of place and supporting cast. Mann writes some great dialogue here, channeling his inner-Capaldi, and some nice little gags and nods and winks to the fans. Although the underlying story has dark undertones, what with the murders and hidden wolf creatures, Mann keeps the overall tone light, which works well for this first chapter. There was a lot of set-up involved, so we got lots of talking and not too much else, but it was done very well and entertaining enough.
The artwork, and colouring, was very good throughout. Mariano Laclaustra shows great range and versatility, switching between pages with several panels to fantastically well rendered full page splashes. There is some nice playing with panel placement, angles etc too, helping the story flow nicely. Lots of facial close-ups too, which help illuminate the emotions in certain scenes. Thumbs up for the Peter Capaldi likeness too.
A small criticism is the fact the issue is again very slight, barely managing to fill 20 pages of story, even though 7 pages are just full page single panels. Pacing always seem to be an issue these days, as writers have to write a specific amount of pages for the purposes of the financially more lucrative graphic novel collection that always follows. As monthly issue readers we then get lopsided issues, where a lot happens in one issue and next to nothing in another. While this blends in ok in a collection you can read in one sitting, it is less satisfying for monthly installments. No more guilty of this than many others though.
Great start to a new era, just hope we get a bit more meat on the bones next issue.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2.6 is out now from Titan Comics