16th Jun2021

‘Doctor Who: Missy #3’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

This mini-series so far has been about as Missy as it’s possible to get without it being an actual episode of the TV show. Houser has up to now perfectly nailed the mannerisms, banter, and cockiness f the character, not to mention the borderline craziness she always seems to be straddling. Or was, of course, as Missy is now sadly a prior incarnation of The Master. Time, however, is luckily a very fluid thing, so no previous incarnations of The Doctor or The Master are ever truly gone, they are still running around somewhere in the distant past or the distant future.

The distant future was of course where this particular tale began, as Missy attempted to break her previous self out of Stormcage prison, all the while pretending to be a future incarnation of The Doctor. You can do these things when you are a Time Lord of course. After last issue’s fun cameo by River Song, this time we get a set up that looks ridiculously promising. The Master has decided that the best way to open the very locked door behind which is the Key to Time is to travel back through his own timeline. He also wants Missy to do this, still believing Missy is a future Doctor of course. Missy may have some explaining to do on that one.

First stop, London 1834, and we drop in on the current Thirteenth Doctor fighting her Master, also the current incarnation. No Time Key here. Essex, 1138, a Twelfth Doctor cameo, then a War Doctor cameo, and so on. Houser takes us on a whirlwind ride through Who history, as we rapidly drop in and out on various adventures that most Who fans will instantly recognise. The hunt for the Time Key is just an excuse to allow us to drop in again on those fun adventures, a reminder as I said earlier that nothing is ever truly in the past when you are a Time Lord. Finally, the Time Key is located. Turns out to be the era of the Third Doctor, when he was based on Earth at U.N.I.T headquarters with The Brigadier. I guess if Houser is going to pick an era to move forward with this storyline, that one’s a cracker.

Missy, of course, is happy that they’ve stopped at an era that has the Key. She hasn’t of course fully thought this turn of events through though. Although the events of the 1970’s era are a few incarnations back for her, all warm fuzzy memories, for her companion Master they are very current. His incarnation was the one that bumped heads with the Third Doctor and The Brigadier, and he’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Here they are, smack dab inside UNIT headquarters, within spitting distance of one of his greatest enemies. Time Key? what Time Key? Missy doesn’t realise he’s disappeared until it’s probably too late. Expect fireworks.

Although I mean it in a good sense, this was a slightly odd issue. In a story sense, nothing really happened. Missy and The Master look for the Key, that is literally the plot. Normally, of course, you can’t fill an entire issue with a one line plot, but you can if you are Jody Houser and you know what your readership enjoys. Throw in a load of cameos and nods to Who history, and they’ll be cheering you from the rafters. I chuckled myself, truth be told. Padding, or clever artistic device? You choose. The art, by Roberta Ingranata, is what we’ve come to expect. strong clean lines and busy, though not messy, layouts. There was quite a lot going on, and I liked her interpretation of the script. Nicely done.

Doctor Who books have thrived the most when they have a nice layer of eccentricity and quirkiness, and Houser brings a huge jar of that with her every time she sits down to write something.

I think we’d all buy an ongoing Missy book on the strength of these issues. Fun stuff.

**** 4/5

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