13th Jun2019

‘Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #8’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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


In this age of ‘four and done’ arcs, so those issues can be neatly packaged up as graphic novels and have their shelf lives extended, I was guessing this issue would tie up the second storyline of the book and I was, of course, right. Ten points to me. Does that restrict creators in what they can do? force them to speed up stories, or stretch them out too long? Possibly. Even probably. It can also be helpful though, and with these two arcs so far Jody Houser’s stories have seemed neither rushed or stretched. Just the right amount of entertainment jam squeezed in between two slices of comic book bread. Delicious.

So last issue saw the continuation of the tracking down Stilean flesh eaters through time, and again more curious information from the ‘Hidden Human History’ podcast that everyone seems to be listening to. Even the Time Agency. Did I say everyone? So far, The Doctor has resisted the urge, though seemingly more out of professional jealousy than any good reason. She also has mixed feelings on the reappearance of Schulz and Perkins as Time Agency agents. They were the amateur time travellers from the first story arc, and although she likes them, she cares very little for the Agency. They want order in temporal matters, she enjoys her own ‘creative freedom’ too much. Reluctant allies then.

On to nineteenth century Canada then, as that podcast lets slip. Yep, the Stileans are apparently active again, but they seem to have continued to evolve, and are becoming more and more human. Given time, The Doctor surmises, they could actually completely pass for human. Interesting as that is, and I think my last sentence gives you a clue where this is going, The Doctor fast forwards to 2019, to try and locate Bethany Brunwine, the creator of the podcast. Apparently very camera shy, no-one knows what she looks like, what she does, or did. The Doctor though, now knows where she lives. A knock on the door, everyone is welcomed inside. So just who is Bethany?

Bethany is, or was, the young leader of the Stileans The Doctor met centuries before. The one who bit her, and in doing so gave herself immortality of a sort. The Doctor and her bond over just what it’s like to see all your friends and companions age and die while you continue on. The podcast was her way of trying to make humans see the people of their past, not just facts and figures, and in her way she has adopted humanity as a surrogate family in much the same way The Doctor has. The Doctor was jealous of a podcast that she helped to both create and inspire. The ultimate irony. The Doctor and her new (ish) friend go their separate ways, but Jody Houser’s words cleverly point out what The Doctor is all about. Different isn’t necessarily bad, or worse, it’s just….different.

Although I saw the reveal coming all along, this was a nice enough wrap up for the storyline. It had a nice emotional heart, a good message, and some nice dialogue going to and fro. Roberta Ingranata provides the perfect visuals for Houser’s script, enhancing the dialogue even more. There is a lot of close ups of people’s faces, with lots of expression, and this always adds to the emotional impact. No action at all this issue but you know what, didn’t notice until the end. Too busy enjoying the characters voices and personalities. Which is as it should be.

Light hearted, free spirited, self knowing, and just great fun. This is The Doctor these times need. Long may she travel

**** 4/5

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #8 is out now from Titan Comics.


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