18th Nov2020

‘Doctor Who Comic #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

With all the Time Lord Victorious shenanigans going on in the Dr. Who world (do read it, it’s great stuff), it’s easy to forget the bread and butter on the Who schedule. Namely, the main book featuring the current Thirteenth Doctor. It’s been consistently fun, superbly written by Jody Houser and drawn by Roberta Ingranata. Although this is a new first issue, which always encourages new readers to jump on, the story is actually directly linked to the end of the last story arc in the previous volume. That was the story that interlinked with the TV episode ‘Blink’, featuring the Weeping Angels. The dust has settled on that of course, but as we all know, when two Doctor’s occupy the same space and time, a paradox is created. And not all paradoxes are created equal…

Present day London. Only, it doesn’t look much like present day London. It’s a London that has been seemingly beaten up and occupied by aliens. That’s bad enough. The Doctor soon realises, this isn’t a slight anomaly, an alien invasion that shouldn’t have occurred, it’s actually the result of an alien invasion that occurred centuries earlier. The vaguely guilty looking Doctor, who has a fair idea about possible causes for all this, tries to explain to the Fam what’s happened. What this world does have, however, is human freedom fighters, and we witness a skirmish between them and some aliens. Interesting enough, but not as interesting as the identity of their leader. It’s Rose, the much missed former companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s. Houser’s got me smiling again.

Back to the TARDIS, where The Doctor is having an argument with, er, the TARDIS. She blames the TARDIS for putting her in the situation with the Tenth Doctor that created this paradox in the first place. Anyway, time to take a look around and get the lie of the land. London , it seems, is now occupied by the prehistoric race the Sea Devils, who predate humans on Earth and have never been particularly happy about being old news. Still, large scale invasions aren’t usually their modus operandi, so The Doctor isn’t convinced they are behind all this. That being said, they do have weapons, and lots of them. A quick bit of psychic paper investigation reveals that humans are slaves to the Sea Devils, and The Doctor and Fam are led off to the nearest human camp. A familiar face is always nice, and here they find two. Pete Tyler and his wife Jackie, the parents of Rose. That would be freedom fighter Rose, who’s currently seeing a familiar face of her own. Let’s just say he has his own blue box…

I’m a sucker for Who stories that mine the mythology and use existing characters, which is probably why I like Jody Houser’s run so much. She is, at heart, a fan like the rest of us. This first issue in the new arc ticks all the boxes a good Who story needs ticking, and Houser again just absolutely nails the mannerisms and dialogue of the Thirteenth Doctor. In some ways, the comic book stories have a similar problem as the TV show with the Fam, trying to give them enough to say and do to keep them involved in the stories when The Doctor alone could carry the entire plot. Art wise, Ingranata is again excellent, in perfect synch with Houser. The layouts are always well paced, and she always emphasises the perfect panels on any given page. She draws a good Thirteen too.

Not sure if this lead off story will be the one to attract new readers, but it will most definitely keep regular readers and Who fans generally in their happy place. Houser ‘gets’ Dr Who, and it really shows.

Like anything, timelines sometimes need fixing. Best person to fix something?

A Doctor? Nope. THE Doctor.

**** 4/5


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