12th Apr2021

‘Doctor Who: Missy #1’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

My first thought when I saw this title was ‘Why?’. Missy, the female regeneration of The Master, is of course a fan favourite character, thanks in no small part to the brilliant Michelle Gomez who played her. She was perfect nemesis/ occasional ally for the Peter Capaldi Twelfth Doctor, but of course time has moved on and The Master now has a new face. A quick look, however, at the introduction page has put my mind to rest and, once again, reminded me that in all matters Who in Jody Houser we should trust. This will be a tale that is a team up of sorts, between the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor, a personal favourite, the classic Richard Delgado goatee wearing Master, and the Twelfth Doctor and Missy. Oh, and the TARDIS. Mustn’t forget her.

We start our story in the Stormcage Facility in the 52nd Century, currently hosting The Master. The Third Doctor is checking in on him, as he seems to do quite a lot, but has to be content with long distance calls as this was the era where The Doctor was confined to Earth. Call finished, the Stormcage guard finds himself face to face with…Doctor Who. Actually, it’s Missy claiming to be Doctor Who, (her words, not mine), a later version than the one just on the call, and she needs to speak with prisoner asap. So, Missy meets her former self The Master, only she claims to be The Doctor when she meets him. Keeping up? So, just what the heck is going on….

It seems Missy is here to get The Master’s help as she needs assistance to save the world. Really. Not our world, of course, she doesn’t care about that, but A world. The Master’s not interested, until Missy casually drops in that the world in question has a fragment of the Key of Time. That did the trick, The Master’s ears well and truly picked up with that announcement. The problem is that the Key has been locked down securely and out of Missy’s reach, so she needs someone nearly as smart as her. The Key has seemingly been hidden away by The Doctor, though as The Doctor she has to claim that she locked it away and has misplaced the key that unlocks the door to the actual Key. I’m willing to bet The Master’s too smart to fall for all this. He wants out, though, so for now keeps quiet. Actually, he grabs a sword and starts attacking Missy. We all knew he would, right?

Although this issue was a glorified scene setting, world building issue, it was a good one. Mostly a two hander between Missy and The Master, it’s enjoyment rests on the personality of the two. Jody Houser could not have captured the personalities of the two more perfectly. The eccentric, witty, pop culture referencing Missy playing off against the dry, aristocratic, condescending Master. It’s a great meeting of minds, and the banter and interplay between the two is superbly done. I could read that all day. The teasing of the bigger scenario soon to play out is the cherry on top. Roberta Ingranata’s art was simply gorgeous throughout, really enhanced by the colours from Enrica Eren Angiolini. Her Missy was pitch perfect, her Master very good, only her Third Doctor likeness was a little lacking. Missy, though, literally steps off the TV screen. Fantastic.

As ever, fans of Dr. Who in general will love this. It’s faithful to everything it needs to be, and no one is better at fan service than Jody Houser. It may not draw in any one new, as some knowledge of Who history is required, but it will certainly please its target audience. Like me.

So, is Missy playing The Master, or is The Master playing Missy?

Time will tell. Well, Jody Houser will, but you get my point.

**** 4/5

Doctor Who: Missy #1 is released on April 14th from Titan Comics.

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