Written by Robbie Morrison | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics
Last issue saw the arrival of Robbie Morrison on the book, and boy did he come flying out of the creative gates. Likewise for new artist Mariano Laclaustra. They threw us back in time to 1695 France, where Gothic shenanigans aplenty unfolded. We had a seemingly immortal possessed Cardinal Richelieu with new soul sucking powers, some similarly possessed followers, an absent French King, and the arrival of an unconventional but tremendous fun new companion (at least for now) in the shape of the feisty, cussing Julie D’Aubigny, also known as Mademoiselle Maupin.
We start this issue with Richelieu using some of his powers to animate stone gargoyles to hunt down The Doctor and Julie, though for now our science and sorcery pairing are in the TARDIS trying to figure out what is going on. The Doctor had managed to get a piece of the dark matter that has been coming out of the eyes of the possessed, and realises it is sentient. Further investigation takes them to the Bibliotheque Mazarine, the huge Paris library, where The Doctor wants to see just when history as we know it went off on a tangent to this new reality around him. He starts by masquerading as a vengeful angel, thanks to his psychic paper and Bishop Mazarin’s superstitious nature, and learns of what happened.
Richelieu and his intelligence network, the Cabinet Noir, initially served King and God faithfully. He confiscated all sorts of forbidden texts and amassed them in a secret Black Library, hidden away. As he aged and got sick, he turned to the forbidden knowledge for a way to keep living. One of his attempts at sorcery opened some sort of portal, which let through a black mass that engulfed, then entered his body, restored his youth, and altered his mind. Mazarin’s account is cut short as he is strangled by a gargoyle’s tail, as they have found The Doctor and Julie. The resulting fight see’s Julie take one of their heads off, and discover they are actually ‘clockwork monsters’, or automatons as The Doctor notes, made in an image to scare the people of that era. They find a novel way to destroy them too. Using the sonic screwdrivers amplification, Julie sings as loud as she can and shatters their circuitry.
The Doctor realises that what is being prepared for will take place in two days time, when the Sun will be hidden by the Moon plunging everything into darkness. This is when a new portal will be opened to complete the invasion of sorts. The Doctor and Julie race to Versailles to warn the King, and to get him to arrest Richelieu before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the black matter coming out of the King’s eyes suggest that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Another fantastic issue. Incredibly well written and drawn, a great plot executed really well with great dialogue and superb artwork. The interplay between The Doctor and Julie is again done really well, and cramming so much action and exposition into one issue yet still leaving us wanting more tells you everything you need to know about how good it is. The marriage of humour and plot is again fantastic. The art meshes perfectly with the story, the careful of use of panels keeping the story at the appropriate pace, and is never less than totally engaging. Robbie Morrison and Mariano Laclaustra have really delivered with this arc so far, wonderfully entertaining and just filled to the brim with the spirit of classic Dr Who.
The Twelfth Doctor has never been written or drawn so well.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2.12 is out now from Titan Comics