Written by George Mann | Art by Rachel Stott | Published by Titan Comics
I haven’t been reading this series that much for various reasons. One is the normal reason, time, and the fact there is such a strong crop of comics out at any one time these days. Other reasons include the fact I am still a little on the fence with this Twelfth incarnation of The Doctor, both with the character and with the comic book itself. I don’t actually dislike either, but just feel there are better Doctor’s and better Doctor Who books out there at the moment. I picked this up with interest, to see if George Mann could prove me wrong, and persuade me this should be a book I read every month.
So where does The Doctor find himself as we begin the issue? It seems he has taken on Hattie as his new companion, Hattie being a character introduced in one of the stories I did read a few issue back. She was a punk and lived on a space station. As you do. Hattie had joined The Doctor for a trip in the TARDIS, pitching up at a house that was far more than it seemed. The inside was full of endless corridors and rooms, seemingly haunted, and a father and some children had disappeared somewhere within. That in itself sounds intriguing, but throw in the revelation that the house is, in fact, a dying TARDIS, and you’ve definitely got my attention.
As always The Doctor makes the impossible sound both possible and plausible. This TARDIS is dying, collapsing in on itself and causing different dimensions to emerge, combine, fold together etc, and this is attracting other life forms like the ‘ghosts’ they saw. They need to find the control room before things go too far. Finding the missing people, they race to find the control room, through all manner of environments like suburban streets, submarines and alien caves, until they find it with time fast running out. The good news is, well, they found it. The bad news is, it’s being guarded by those pesky entities, and they are feeding off the temporal energy being released. Luckily, Hattie remembers they have a weakness to sodium, so we get to see fantastical otherworldly beings dispatched by, er, salt shakers. It wouldn’t be Dr Who without some tongue firmly planted in cheek.
It’s a nice, neat ending this time. No subplot bubbling away, no lead in teaser to next issue. This tied up this arc, with Hattie also leaving as The Doctor’s companion, leaving us a nice, blank page for next issue. I really enjoyed George Mann’s writing here. I enjoyed the concept and execution, the way it was resolved, and the use of the characters. It was typical Dr Who, racing from one task to another at breathless pace. The dialogue was very strong, and Peter Capaldi’s black humour was nicely captured too. It was a very simple plot and resolution, but it worked very well.
The artwork, by Rachel Stott, at first glance looked a little too cartoony for me. A second read through persuaded me it was the colours I had issue with, not the art itself. The layouts and storytelling were actually very well done, with as much detail put into narrow letterbox panels as the full page splashes. The environments were nice and detailed, the entities looked suitably spooky, and The Doctor looked as he should, all Peter Capaldi. Very nice work.
I may have prejudged this series by saying it didn’t seem to offer as much as the other books. This issue certainly did. It offered good writing and art, and a whole lot of fun. It would have made a good Halloween episode of the TV series too.
If this is the normal level of enjoyment I can expect, I’ll be reading each and every month from now on.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2.10 is out now from Titan Comics