Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Adriana Melo | Published by Titan Comics
Although this title has in general been a little underwhelming, there have been moments that make you think it’s just about to turn the corner, that it’s going to go on a run of fine issues. The previous story arc was definitely a step in the right direction, with them pitching up in the early 1980′s to assist The Brigadier and UNIT. Although I didn’t love it the way I have been enjoying the other Who books, it was entertaining enough, and left me hoping writer Cavan Scott could kick on from there. So let’s see.
This issue, the first of a new arc, sees us pitch up in Seventeenth Century Brazil. The first conflict that needs addressing is not of an external nature, but one of jealousy from within. Rose is just a tad jealous of The Doctor’s ‘enthusiasm’ for UNIT stowaway, and honorary companion for the moment, Tara Mishra. Could be The Doctor just likes the genuine amazement of someone who experiences travelling through space and time. Or he could fancy her. Let’s be diplomatic and say it’s probably a combination of the two. Anyway that swiftly takes a back seat to the fact that the team (The Doctor, Captain Jack, Rose and Tara) have run into some Portuguese slavers busy enslaving a local tribe.
Just as things look to escalate badly, one of the fortune hunters thinks he knows Captain Jack, calling him Father Julian Horta, who is apparently a ‘legend’, and someone who he has been friends with for many years. Jack, intrigued by this lead that may fill in some of his missing memories that were wiped by the Time Agency, decides to head off for Sao Paulo with Rose to see what he can find. Love Rose’s line that it was a ‘..shame the Time Agency didn’t wipe your ego’. Heh. They find his house, and while pottering about are surprised by what seems to be a ghost…but turns out to be a security hologram to keep nosy locals away. Jack finds the Scooby Doo-esque secret passageway that leads to the basement, and his ‘safe house’.
The Doctor is equally busy, intrigued by the story that the fortune hunters/ slavers have been disappearing, blamed on a monster in the water by the locals. The Doctor’s nose is most definitely twitching. A quick investigation leads to everyone but The Doctor being hypnotised and stopped in their tracks by what appears to be a mermaid with a lovely singing voice. I say appears to be as, spooked by the fortune hunters and their guns, it goes back underwater, before re-emerging as something a lot more scary. Actually, no it doesn’t, as it seems there are actually two of them in there…if that’s good or bad we’ll have to wait to see next issue.
This was a really good start to the new arc. Although the main story was good, and I liked the intercutting of Jack and Rose’s story with The Doctor’s throughout the issue, what I noticed most was the dialogue. The dialogue, especially between the TARDIS crew, was excellent, felt very natural and at times very funny. Scott captured the deadpan and often oblivious to the obvious Ninth Doctor better than ever. This is what I’ve been waiting for, a solid story with good character work. The art by Adriana Melo was nice, well laid out with lovelyclean art, and had a few full page panels thrown in for good measure. I liked it, though still feel Captain Jack is drawn too young. The Doctor’s likeness though is very good.
Well this was more like it. All the elements you need are in there for a fun adventure this time round, with the added bonus of the ongoing plotline as Captain Jack tries to recover his missing memories.
Looking forward to seeing where the next issue takes us.
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #9 is out now from Titan Comics