13th Jan2021

‘Doctor Who Comic #3’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

I’ve been really enjoying this kick off story arc, with Jody Houser once again having all sorts of fun going through the gears. As I wrote last time round, total fan service, but that’s never a bad thing. Give ’em what they want! Houser and Ingranata have pretty much established themselves as The Thirteenth Doctor dream team, and I note they seem to have a distinct affection also for the Tenth Doctor, who keeps popping up. Speaking of which, the Tenth Doctor is partly responsible for the alternate timeline we’ve been visiting, with its alternate version of Rose Tyler, one of The Doctor’s most loved companions. In this timeline the Skithra, with the Sea Devils as their muscle, invaded and conquered the Earth. We have a lot of Time Lord guilt washing around these two TARDIS’s right now.

So, we start with two TARDIS’s tearing each other apart, because they are the same TARDIS trying to occupy the same space at the same time. Two different Doctor’s though, Rose and Ten in one TARDIS, the Fam, a Skithra Queen, and Thirteen in the other. You knew things would be straightened out though, right? We see a Time Lord version of jumping from one car to another, as Thirteen drags Ten and Rose into her TARDIS. Yet more paradox, yes, but slighter less troublesome than imploding TARDIS’s. Introductions concluded, off we go to New York City in 1903 to find Nikola Tesla. So, let’s recap. Two Doctor’s and a load of companions, all back in a time where the Thirteenth Doctor and Fam are already running around saving Tesla from the Skithra the first time round, in their recent past. Got all that?

This time round, something’s clearly different as Edison has seemingly been kidnapped too. Time to implement the ‘first things first’ plan, and find where the dormant Sea Devils are, to stop them being activated and used by the Skithra to invade Earth. Find them they do, in Scotland, and this is where having a Skithra Queen in your back pocket comes in handy. She intercepts two disguised Skithra about to revive some Sea Devils, and ensures they won’t be able to ever again. Job done. So, world invasion averted. Now it’s time to rescue Tesla. Definitely. Edison. Maybe.

There was a whole lot of dialogue this issue, zipping around all over the place, and it was a great read. To really appreciate everything you need to have seen the TV episode where the Skithra attempted to kidnap Tesla, this all plugs in nicely around that, but it’s still enjoyable on its own. The dialogue was mostly exposition driving the story forward, but there was some nice asides in there. I always enjoy the banter Houser throws in between Thirteen and Ten, they bounce off each other well, and the short scene between Ten and Rose was affectionately written. My ongoing gripe remains however, the Fam didn’t really do anything to drive the story forward. A little light comic relief sure, but when you think about how much companions like Rose contributed to their adventures back in the day, it’s a little disappointing. A minor gripe though.

I genuinely find it tough to say much negative about Houser’s Who run. The best I usually come up with is that she can be a little too self-knowing, but when your core audience are Who fans, Whovians if you will, you’ll usually end up preaching to the converted. Like me.

So, another fun issue in a fun run by a creative team having fun. Doesn’t get better than that, does it?

**** 4/5

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