22nd Dec2020

‘Doctor Who Comic #2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

Last issue was fun, wasn’t it? Smacked totally of fan service, but I think we are all fine with that. Take the Thirteenth Doctor, TARDIS and Fam, sprinkle in a dash of The Tenth Doctor, and a cherry on top in the form of Rose Tyler. Not THE Rose Tyler, but still. Your mileage may vary, but the Sea Devils are a pretty good call on the classic villain front too. The Sea Devils, it seems, have conquered present day Earth, or at least the UK and London. How? Seems Ten and Thirteen managed to cook up a timey-wimey paradox thingie when taking on the Weeping Angels in their last adventure. Not good. Thirteen and Fam have ended up in an internment camp, while Ten has just run into the leader of the human resistance, Rose Tyler herself.

This Rose, though, is not our Rose. She’s never met The Doctor, and her parents are both still alive. She doesn’t trust The Doctor, despite his attempts to persuade her otherwise. A photo does prove to him however this paradox is recent. Over in the camps the current Doctor is explaining to the Fam who Rose was, though remaining suitably vague on details. We know, from the TV continuity, that Rose’s father Pete dies in 1987 in the correct timeline, and Rose ends up in an alternate dimension with a copy of the Tenth Doctor. You had to be there. The Doctor can’t believe the Sea Devils alone were smart enough to conquer the world, so tries to find out who, if anyone, is pulling their strings. This timeline’s Pete and Jackie certainly don’t know of any.

Back over to Rose and Ten, he’s managed to sow the seeds of doubt in her mind. He shows her a photograph that doesn’t fit with current events, and tells her he has to go back in time to fix the paradox before it starts. He invites Rose to join him in the TARDIS, her first time. Again. Just when we think we are starting to get a handle on things, a hole is blown in the side of the prison camp and The Doctor and Fam are in the middle of a jail break. Organised by the Skithra, no less. Who they? Another alien race, usually to be found on the scrounge for alien weapons and tech, and usually firmly anti-human. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice once remarked. As they escape The Doctor finds out this Skithra Queen is different from the one she encountered while saving Tesla. In fact, it becomes apparent that Tesla seems to be the key to all this, and a trip back in time, again, to save him is called for. To the TARDIS.

The Tenth Doctor has also come to similar conclusions, and has managed to persuade Rose to join him, so the timeline can be restored. That’s the problem when you have two Doctors occupying the same space and time, they tend to reach similar conclusions and sometimes cause the problem they are trying to solve, or make it worse. Or make new problems. Or all of the above. As the last page shows, two Doctors and 2 TARDIS’s in the same space-time at the same time is not good. Most definitely not good.

This issue was yet again a sort of team up without being a team up, as neither Doctor encountered the other at all. Both their storylines nicely followed the other though, one Doctor with Rose, the other Jackie and Pete, and both coming to the same conclusions. Houser is becoming something of a master at taking events and elements from an episode of the show and building on them, filling in cracks that don’t contradict what has gone before but nicely add to it. My one issue was that, again, The Fam had very little to do. They are so often surplus to requirements, story-wise. Houser’s writing was as entertaining as always, pitch perfect story and dialogue, and Ingranata’s art was equally excellent. I love her Tenth Doctor, always perfect.

So, will a Rose by any other name still smell as sweet? Only Houser knows. I’m sure she’ll tell us next month.

**** 4/5


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