Written by Robbie Morrison | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics
Robbie Morrison and Mariano Laclaustra’s arrival on this title has been like a breath of the sweetest air. Up to their arrival three issues ago, the book felt like it was struggling a little, lacking a little of that Who magic a lot of the other books had, but that has most definitely arrived with this gothic tale set in Seventeenth Century France. Although a soul sucking and mystically empowered scenery chewing Cardinal Richelieu is fun enough, throw in a planned alien invasion and a feisty, loud-mouthed travelling companion In Julie D’Aubigny, and you have captured magic in a bottle.
Last issue saw The Doctor and Julie discover what was behind Richelieu and his Cabinet Noir, an alien force called the darkness that had emerged through a portal opened by Richelieu’s use of black magic books. The Doctor realises that what is being prepared for is the upcoming eclipse, when the Sun will be hidden by the Moon throwing everything into darkness, and a new portal will be opened to complete the invasion and possession of the inhabitants of Paris. Time to warn King Louis IV you’d think, but unfortunately it seems The Sun King has ironically been possessed by the darkness himself. Not good.
After a little conversation between The Doctor and Richelieu, confirming the darkness’s ill intent, The Doctor and Julie manage to escape, although the escape is somewhat hampered by The Doctor’s decision to hide the TARDIS in the Versailles maze, which he then gets a little lost in. This, unfortunately allows Julie to get captured and transported to the Bastille prison, where she is to be made an example of by being executed. All is lost as the executioner swings his axe…only to miss and free Julie instead. The not very good executioner is in fact The Doctor, come to rescue Julie in the nick of time just as the eclipse begins and the darkness begins to fully manifest.
The Doctor and Julie confront Richelieu just at the moment he thinks victory is his, and he soon discovers not to underestimate a Time Lord. Just as Julie and The Doctor seem to be beaten, the real plan unfolds. The TARDIS has opened a time tunnel between Earth and the Saberhagan Quasar, one of the brightest sources of light in the universe, and all dark matter in Paris is obliterated, as is Richelieu. One swift wrap up later and as The Doctor prepares to leave, Julie tells him she’s coming too. When The Doctor lets her know she wouldn’t make a good companion, she retorts ‘Oh, I wouldn’t be your companion. You’d be mine..’.
The further adventures of The Doctor and Julie? We’ll have to see.
A great conclusion to a very strong first story arc. Morrison’s script, character interplay and definition of The Doctor and Julie’s personalities is fantastic, and he balances a nice historical gothic adventure with just the right dash of science fiction. I love the strain of humour running through as well. The art is again just perfect for this story, well paced and gorgeous to look at. Very conventional perhaps with just standard block panels, which sometimes I find a little lazy, but not here. They work like screen shots of a TV show, helping you pace your reading at just the right speed. Great stuff.
Looking forward to seeing if, or how, Robbie Morrison can top this start to his time on the book. His Twelfth Doctor is most definitely in.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2.13 is released tomorrow, January 11th, courtesy of Titan Comics.