Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Cris Bolson | Published by Titan Comics
With some of the Who titles hitting it out of the park right now, one or two of the other Who titles are struggling a little to keep up. The Tenth Doctor’s book springs to mind, as does this Ninth Doctor title. They are not bad in the sense they lack any quality, but they lack some of the inspiration and general oomph of the other books. That being said, last issue was pretty entertaining, and I am certainly a sucker for anything featuring UNIT circa early 1980′s. As you will recall, the TARDIS pitched up in early 80′s Britain to find UNIT under attack by monsters, and the key seemingly a certain Mr. Yaxley. Captain Jack paid a visit to Mr. Yaxley’s house, only to come face to face with an impressively huge monster…
Captain Jack manages to get out the house with everyone safely as this issue begins, but only with Yaxley’s help. Yaxley is indeed controlling the monsters, to a degree, but is doing so under duress, and somehow manages to astral project himself to tell his son and Jack that. We switch back to the UNIT base, where Rose’s friend, now mutated as a gargoyle, is still in critical condition, as The Doctor races around trying to find helpful equipment, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart returns back to base. Both teams meet as another monster tries to stop Jack and Yaxley’s family escape by car, and The Doctor and the Brigadier arrive in the nick of time to take it down with a specially designed alien tech gun.
Once the creature has been banished, The Doctor notices something strange. The creature looked exactly like the picture on Yaxley’s son’s t-shirt. Jack and Yaxley’s wife fill in the gaps, explaining that when Alex Yaxley was younger he took part in psychic warfare military experiments, and is a big fan of Japanese monster movies. He is being forced to create these things, and as we cut back to where he is being held we discover by whom. Corrigan, the head of private alien defence company Albion Defence, is holding Yaxley, seemingly to cause such mayhem as to expose UNIT as ineffective and needing replacement. By his private company of course. Privatising alien defence, you’ve got to love that. Harry Sullivan makes this all a little easier by taking a swing at an admittedly irritating government minister.
On balance this was entertaining enough issue, but I found the payoff to be a lot better than the content that got us there. The entire issue, apart from a little plot development along the way, consisted of Jack and Yaxley’s family escaping from the astrally projected monster and then being saved by The Doctor. What should have been a half a dozen page sequence was the entire issue, and it did feel very light. There were a few nice touches, such as the Brigadier’s first meeting with this incarnation of The Doctor and his bemusement with him being northern, but that aside the issue was very devoid of character development or interplay. Rose got a couple of panels, Jack a little more.
The art this issue was by Cris Bolson, and was pretty good without being outstanding. He got to cut loose on some large panels which he probably enjoyed, and the layouts elsewhere were fine, if very standard fare. The likenesses were pretty good throughout too.
A mixed bag then. I enjoyed the setting and some of the storyline, but felt this issue was extremely light on content, ultimately making it feel unsatisfying overall. Poor plotting? Eking out a 2 issue storyline to 3 issues? Not sure, but hope all the good stuff has been saved for next issue, the final issue of this arc.
Let’s see the writer’s execution match his very good ideas.
Doctor Who: The 9th Doctor #7 is out now from Titan Comics