12th May2021

‘Doctor Who: Missy #2’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

It wasn’t until I read the previous issue that I realised that I had really, er, missed Missy. Her little run-ins in with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor were always a highlight of the series after all. All new adventures can only be a good thing, especially when not only has Missy has been revived for our reading pleasure, but so has the classic goatee sporting Master, my childhood favourite and nemesis of the Third Doctor, also my childhood favourite. Objectivity with this book is going to be tough.

So, last issue saw Missy try to get her hands on the Key to Time, locked away in an impossible to open vault. Deciding this was a two person job, she travelled to the future to break her previous self, The Master, out of Stormcage prison. Knowing how sneaky he was, she claimed that she was actually a future incarnation of The Doctor to try and get him to assist. The Master, of course, betrayed Missy the second her back was turned. One physical difference of opinion later, a fight to you and me, the two reluctantly join forces, The Master reluctantly conceding he needs a way out as he’s without his own time ship. It goes unspoken, but he also looks a tad wary of the fact that The Doctor has come without his TARDIS.

Missy, it must be said, doesn’t really have the full repertoire of The Doctor in her arsenal. She can do whimsical and scatty, solid Doctor traits of course, but struggles with any real content in her deception. She’s like a caricature of The Doctor brought to life. Still, the Odd Couple vibe Missy and The Master give off is fun, the banter and interplay is fun, and it’s amusing trying to guess who’s going to sell out the other first. As if these two strong personalities weren’t a heady enough brew, another resident of Stormcage decides to put in an appearance. Take a bow, River Song.

So now Missy is trying to convince both River and The Master that she is, in fact, The Doctor. River just mentions the fact she’s never met this incarnation of ‘him’ before, and leaves it at that. For now. The Master of course doesn’t have a clue who she is, and when he hears she killed The Doctor, he doesn’t know if he should be impressed or appalled. Probably both. Sadly, River must remain behind as the two Time Lord’s (or Time Lord squared) take the TARDIS and leave Stormcage. Missy did have it after all. Cheeky. Off they go to the impossible vault and The Master manages to…do nothing. Yep, it’s beyond his abilities too. He does earn his place, though, with a great suggestion. Why don’t the two of them search their individual timelines to find the key that way. Let’s go.

The magic in this issue came from the character work Houser put in. The plot had a pretty minimal amount of movement if truth be told, but the dialogue was at times laugh out loud, and you got the sense the psychological battle between The Master and Missy was being played out both on the surface and under. Does he know who she really is? Does she know he knows, and it’s a double bluff? the fun is in the guessing. It’s all done firmly tongue in cheek, and glorious entertainment. I wish I had more to say about the art, but all I can say is that it was great, nice looking, layouts nicely paced, and nice use of panel sizes and design. Exactly what you want. Missy is always drawn with a twinkle in the eye too, which I love.

When you think about it, we have seen different incarnations of The Doctor team up for many years, but never different incarnations of The Master. I suppose, as Missy would tell us, it takes a woman’s touch.

Albeit one pretending to be someone else.

**** 4/5

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