22nd Jun2017

‘Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3.4’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by George Mann | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics


Before I get going on the actual review, a quick mention for the fantastic covers that the Who titles have. All issues have multiple covers, ranging from photo covers, to fully painted, to cartoony. Once upon a time multiple covers were intended to suck investors into buying several copies of the same issue, but now they offer a different flavour to any and all buyers. Fans of comics probably go for the painted/ cartoony covers, fans of the TV show the photo covers. The painted cover this month, by Simon Myers (pictured above), is rather fab I must say. But I digress.

George Mann and Mariano Maclaustra return for the concluding part of the rather fun, vintage feeling ‘Beneath the Waves’. The Doctor and space punk Hattie have not really been enjoying 1979 Seaton Bay, despite the awesome fish and chips, due to the arrival of strange seaweed creatures with a nice line in psychic attacks. After the normal shenanigans, The Doctor gives himself up to be taken by these creatures, so as to avoid any further attacks on the town and the people. Good for the town, not so good for The Doctor as he is dragged underneath the waves into the sea. This issue could be a very short review.

As The Doctor disappears, Hattie of course is having none of that. She finds a diving suit and suits up, a little too naturally for a future space punk if you ask me, and dives in after the seaweed creatures. We then have a several page under the sea text less sequence, as Hattie fights off the seaweed creature, finds The Doctor, with a handy air breather attached, and they mutually rescue each other. Great sequence, culminating in a powerful psychic blast seemingly showing these creatures are lost and just want to go home, a frequent Who trope.

The Doctor now realises that a spaceship crash landed millions of years ago, with its occupant in hyper-sleep, and had been at the bottom of the Bay. Recent cliff movements had caused the ship to shift, and the occupant to wake, obviously none too happy. The ‘attacks’, by both seaweed creatures and psychically, were attempts at communication. The Doctor, of course, cannot let this lie (literally) and devises a pretty cool plan to free the creature. Underwater punk rock. Yep. The Doctor and Hattie lay down some outstanding licks, causing some outstanding vibrations, that free the trapped ship. An unfortunate consequence is that the town starts to suffer from an Earthquake, but The Doctor and the alien team up to avert that crisis. Job done.

Although the main adventure was wrapped up, The Doctor usually has several other things going on as well, and one of those was his attempt to re-inspire Hattie, who was going through something of a personal crisis. What better inspiration to have involved her in a mission where her music directly saved the trapped alien, her voice saved a creature with none. Boom, The Doctor is in. Hattie returns to her own time and place, destined for greater things (The Doctor plans on returning in a year or two, to get a signed copy of her bestselling album to be). Great wrap up.

An excellent issue, really well written and drawn. Although Mann directed the story with a fine hand, many pages had no actual writing, so Laclaustra’s storytelling skills came to the fore. The underwater sequence was especially good, down to the wavy panel edges, and the full page panels were things of beauty. Story and art worked really well, and I liked the moral of the story, using the rescue to re-inspire Hattie. The musical resolution may have been a little over the top but, who cares, it was fun and it worked for me.

All change next month with a new creative team, new companion in Bill, and new story arc, but this was a fine send off for this particular team.

Their Doctor rocked it. Literally.

**** 4/5


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