16th Jul2021

‘Doctor Who: Missy #4’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

All good things must come to an end, even for Time Lords. Even for Time Lords pretending to be other Time Lords while partnering with a previous incarnation of themselves and encountering two versions of the Time Lord who they themselves are claiming to be. Yep, it’s Jody Houser, and yep, it’s Missy. I’m not sure there’ll ever be another version of The Master that quite captures the mystique that Missy has. Is she good playing at being bad, or is she bad pretending to be good? Is she neither? Both? It’s that slippery quality that you love about her, and that makes you understand just how difficult it is for The Doctor to work her out.

So, the Key to Time has been located, which is good, but it is back in UNIT’S 1970’s heyday, which is bad. Why? The Master bears grudges, and this particular ones a doozy. Missy clearly doesn’t plan for all eventualities. What Missy does have in abundance is cojones. She thwarts The Master’s attempted assassination and rather puts him in his place. Time for some goatee stroking therapy on his part I’m guessing. Which is just as well, as a certain curly locked Jon Pertwee Third Doctor has appeared on the scene. Time for a swift TARDIS shaped exit.

A Doctor is not really required when you have egos the size of The Master and Missy to contend with. While aboard the TARDIS the simmering distrust comes to a head, as The Master realises Missy was always going to use him and then return him to Stormcage Prison. How? He knew who she was all along, or realised quite early on. He recognised himself, or at least a version of himself. So why the subterfuge on Missy’s part? She doesn’t want to take over the Universe, though The Master happily would. She doesn’t want to team up to cause untold mayhem and destruction, as The Master would. Actually, that’s partially true. She’s happy to team up, just not with him. Time for the big reveal.

Missy, it seems, has had a silent partner all along. Although she’s not really The Doctor herself, she’s teamed up with one. ‘Her’ Doctor, Number Twelve. Actually ‘teamed up with’ is being a bit generous, as Missy is still on the fence as to what to do with the Key of Time fragment. Or is she? I get the impression that Missy just likes the game, likes the fun of manipulation and uncertainty, of creating chaos. She probably knows all along what her endgame is, but likes to pull strings and have fun getting there. Jody Houser gets this aspect of Missy perfectly. Even the epilogue makes you smile. The Doctor’s pleased that she sided with him and gave him the key, not realising that she’s actually made a copy for herself. Ah Missy, never change.

Although this 4 issue series was always intended as a one-off showcase for Missy I’m guessing, I can’t believe it will be the only one. If ever a character cried out for more stories to be told, it’s Missy. An ongoing book featuring her careering across the Whoverse encountering all the same people and places The Doctor does would be a no-brainer. Having her come up against various previous regenerations as well, of both herself and The Doctor, how could you go wrong. Missy encountering Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor? Take my money now.

Jody Houser must write though, or no deal. If she wants to bring along the wonderful artistry of Roberta Ingranata too, all the better. The two creators make a wonderful team, their work meshes like two people who finish each other’s sentences. Lovely stuff.

Sometimes, you really don’t need a Doctor after all.

**** 4/5

Doctor Who: Missy #4 is out now from Titan Comics.


Comments are closed.