23rd Dec2016

‘Doctor Who: The 9th Doctor #8′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Cris Bolson | Published by Titan Comics

dw_9d_ongoing_08_cover_a_pasquale_qualano

I’ve been trying to like this book more than I currently do. The pieces are all there, but they just don’t seem to be working well together. The Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness is as strong a tandem as you can get with any Who incarnation, I just don’t get the impression they have been well used, that the writer quite knows how to use them. It’s not all bad of course, as the current adventure sees them assisting UNIT, and The Brigadier, back in the early 1980′s, an era and a team I enjoy.

UNIT has been being attacked by strange monsters, monsters we now know are being created by Mr Yaxley, against his will, to further the ambition of Corrigan, head of private alien defence company Albion Defence. Corrigan wants UNIT discredited and gone, so he can take over their role. For a fee, of course. Mr Yaxley had been subjected to psychic warfare experiments in the past by the military, and had been creating Japanese manga monsters into real life under duress. UNIT’s Harry Sullivan swinging a punch at the wrong man at the wrong time pretty much cemented the fait accompli for Corrigan and Albion.

As this issue begins UNIT are handing over their assets to Albion, but not before Rose frees her now fully gargoyle friend from that previous adventure. She is detained, while The Doctor and The Brigadier continue to the hunt for Mr Yaxley. The Doctor has made a huge realization though, that although Yaxley gained abilities through the experiments he is not the real power. His son Josh has the actual real power, far in advance of his father’s abilities. The Doctor has a plan, which involves triggering Josh to create some more monsters, but this time utilising a machine to help control them.

Meanwhile Rose and Harry are both being held by Albion. Although Corrigan thought taking Rose was his idea, turns out she wanted to get taken. What’s a girl to do with a secret tracker in her shoes after all. Josh unleashes his psionic creation on Albion’s HQ, all hell breaks loose, and Corrigan makes a desperate escape to the government minister who’s been supporting him and Albion. Too late, as UNIT nurse Tara Mishra who Corrigan had set up to be attacked live on air by Yaxley’s creations, actually revealed Corrigan and Albion’s role in everything. Job done.

Although the ending was a little pat, and felt a little hurried considering the build- up, this was overall a good wrap up to this adventure. Yaxley and his family are saved, the Brigadier and UNIT have met a new incarnation of The Doctor for the first time, Gargoyle Dean is released into the wild (felt that a tad irresponsible!), and Captain Jack discovers another piece of his missing past. Oh, and looks like Tara Mishra has invited herself along to join them in the TARDIS.

A solid ending then to a good storyline, though this Doctor still seems to lack a definitive identity, a defined set of characteristics like his fellow Doctors do. He is, by comparison, pretty bland. That’s probably the characters fault more than the writers, but it is noticeable, and he was possibly the least interesting character in this issue. I like it though, and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day. The art by Adriana Melo was generally nicely done, though a little uneven overall. Some pages and panels were very nice, others lacking detail and slipping into very loose pencils. The likenesses were also very inconsistent.

Although I wanted even more, this was not bad at all, and I’m hoping the follow up story arc will be even stronger. This Doctor really needs something to sink those Gallifreyan teeth into.

*** 3/5

Doctor Who: The 9th Doctor #8 is out now from Titan Comics.

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