09th Oct2020

‘Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Jody Houser | Art by Roberta Ingranata | Published by Titan Comics

If you are even a casual Doctor Who fan, you will no doubt have been following the frankly huge Doctor Who ‘Time Lord Victorious’ crossover storyline. If you’ve come in late, it is essentially a series of stories that are on one hand self contained, but also interlock with each other to form a larger picture. The stories focus on the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctor’s and cross across comics, novels, audio adventures, digital content, games, and even immersive theatre and escape rooms. Think of it as a Gallifreyan pick and mix. A handy timeline of previous and future parts of the puzzle is included at the back of this issue, a map of sorts. I have dipped in and out on most things up to now, and it has been a lot of fun.

For now, we are focused only on the comic sitting in front of me, the second part of the ‘Defender of the Daleks’ storyline, featuring The Tenth Doctor. Last issue we saw Ten pitch up into a very strange state of affairs. Firstly, this seems to be a rewritten timeline where no Time War ever took place, and the Dalek Empire is still a dominant force in the universe. The Doctor though is in the odd position of being approached by the Emperor Dalek to help them, to fight back against a universe-level threat in the Hond, a race who shouldn’t even exist anymore. To add to the fun, The Doctor has an assistant in the Dalek Prime Strategist, a seemingly bashed up old Dalek that seems to be more than he says. We ended last issue with Doctor and Dalek coming face to face with a Hond, which didn’t bode well…

This issue starts like an odd couple buddy road movie, with The Doctor and the Dalek playing off each other with an amusing wariness. The Doctor tries to get the Hond to explain how they can exist at this time, but fails, and tries to offer help to avoid conflict, but that fails too. He is, inevitably, exterminated by the Dalek. The Doctor still can’t quite understand just why the Daleks need or even want him, and is sure they aren’t telling him everything. I think that’s a given. He knows though the threat of the Hond is real, and reluctantly uses the sonic screwdriver to give the Daleks access to a vast vault of hidden weaponry. Why was it hidden away in the first place? Hmm. The Doctor also coxes from his companion that his scars are the result of punishment from The Dalek Emperor, and that he was the one who suggested recruiting The Doctor.

Their conversation is interrupted by the return of the Hond. Yep, the dead one. Seems he wasn’t so exterminated after all, and has managed to regenerate. He attacks the Dalek, who only survives thanks to The Doctor’s quick actions. Not sure the Time Lords would approve of that. The Hond is captured, giving The Doctor time to study it a little more before the rest of the Hond invaders arrive. The reason the Prime Strategist recruited The Doctor then becomes clear. The Daleks are just a hammer, brute force, which alone cannot defeat the Hond. The Doctor is intellect, and he realises why they can’t win. The Hond absorb pain and suffering, that just makes them stronger. Not because they are evil, or bad, but because they are evolved from the primordial beginnings of the universe, they literally are pain personified. The Doctor, humanely, deals with them. The Daleks really appreciate it and they became firm friends with The Doctor. Or not.

The Daleks, of course, attempt a double cross and The Doctor is save by….The Doctor. The Thirteenth Doctor, to be exact. Anomalies and paradoxes are always food for Time Lords. She helps Ten escape, and they meet again for the first time. She also makes sure he is deposited back in his correct timeline. I think. That is the end of this adventure, but not the end of the Dalek Empire. It seems they have plans for The Eighth Doctor too. Although in the end the big bad Hond weren’t quite the threat I thought they would be, more a means to an end story-wise, Jody Houser closed this two parter out nicely. The highlight, as always, was the dialogue and banter, with Houser again writing a pitch perfect David Tennant. Ingranata’s art was again very nice, with every page full of more unorthodox layouts than you normally see. Panels over panels, large background panels with other panels in foreground, always mixing it up in a very organic way.

Solid entertainment full of Time Lords, Daleks, Space, Paradoxes, and everything in-between. The Doctor will see you now.

**** 4/5


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