18th Jan2019

‘Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #3′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Jody Houser | Art by Rachael Stott | Published by Titan Comics

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I’m a reasonably intelligent person, and yet it has taken me 3 issues to realise that this book is entirely written, drawn, coloured and edited by women. If that makes you happy or not, still quite a radical statement by a publisher at any level. Not affirmative action by any means, as writer Jody Houser and artist Rachel Stott are top talents, but still a lot of pressure to make this book a success. Everyone seems to be having fun though, and that carries over to the book itself. Although female creators have been in the industry for many years, they’ve rarely been trusted to carry books by themselves, creator owned books aside, so books like this can trail blaze in the industry for many other to follow. For that alone, I’d like the book to do well.

All that being said, I am still not entirely sold on The Doctor herself, or her trio of companions, but that is primarily the fault of the TV show. Let’s see if the book can warm me up. Last issue ended with a hostage situation as time travelling Dr Perkins turned on his rescuers and ordered them to take the TARDIS to the mysterious villain who is holding his fellow time traveller, Dr Schulz, prisoner herself. That mystery alien has been sending them through time to steal valuable things, and I’m guessing the TARDIS is a pretty valuable piece of kit in his eyes. Dr Perkins is not bad of course, just desperate, and his heart really isn’t in it. The Doctor swiftly talks him round, and asks him this time to tell them the truth. The Doctor didn’t buy his story last issue one little bit.

Perkins this time reveals the truth about the alien, a being he calls the Hoarder. He had essentially kidnapped them from the time stream and made them take treasures from across time and space. He also tried to get them to steal children, which he uses as hostages to make others do his bidding. He has many beings imprisoned too, fellow victims it seems. The Doctor quite likes the sound of this one – save children, find scientist, break up temporal crime ring. Using the vortex manipulator, a signal is tracked back to the place Dr Schulz is being held. And we are off.

The signal is tracked back to a lush alien planet, and a temple. To Graham’s horror, The Doctor happily leaps in, with no real plan or idea of what to expect. Refreshing to see that, although The Thirteenth Doctor is a friendlier, gentler version that most other incarnations, she still has that utter sense of adventure, that desire for the thrill of the unknown we love. True to form, the temple closes around them, trapping them. Only way out, as the walls start closing in to crush them all, is a hole in the floor, with no way of knowing how far down it is, or if there are deadly things waiting for them. Terrible odds. The Doctor wouldn’t have it any other way.

This was a solid issue, better paced than last, and with the story almost fully formed. Temporal crime ring? Nice work Jody Houser. Although The Doctor shined, with Houser writing a perfect Thirteen, again the companions have little to do, often fading to the background. Three is definitely not the magic number when it comes to companions. The art was very good, again The Doctor’s likeness and facial expressions captured nicely, though Graham looked a tad plastic (no jokes about Bradley Walsh’s acting please). So, very nice story and art, no complaints from me.

The sense of fun and adventure is everywhere in this book. We like that

**** 4/5

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #3 is out now from Titan Comics.

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