After a brief hiatus Doctor Who returns this week to comic books stores, this time courtesy of Titan Comics. Doctor Who‘s history in comics is pretty much as storied as the Television version, starting a year after the show debuted. The long-running UK published Doctor Who Magazine has been running comic strips based on the show since 1979.
In the US, however, the Doctor didn’t see any four-color adventures until the mid-1980s with Marvel Comics reprinting some of the British strips. That was short-lived and it wasn’t until 2007 that an American published comic book was made available. Now the US gets the best of both worlds with Titan Comics being a British publisher, but with full distribution in the US. As if to reward us for our eternal patience this week sees the debut of two new Doctor Who comics with a third on the way soon. Here’s a look at the first two titles.
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1
Written by: Nick Abadzis, Art by: Elena Casagrande
After Donna’s tragic exit, the Doctor thought he was done with new companions. But Gabby Gonzalez is going to prove him wrong… if she survives the night!
On the eve of Día de Muertos an Hispanic family living in New York City is terrorized by demonic visions of long-lost relatives. Of course, the Doctor happens to be on hand to save his new, could-be companion Gabby. This is an engaging story that felt a little flat to me. It felt like a little too much time was spent on Gabby and her family and not enough with establishing who and what the Doctor is. To be fair, it definitely read much like the re-introduction of the Doctor in 2005 when the show returned from cancellation.
We really get to know the companion with her serving as our viewpoint into the world of the Doctor, who is once again painted as this very strange and mysterious character. I understand wanting to recapture that feeling, but it just didn’t work for me here. There is certainly enough going to make me come back next month as I am certainly interested in where the story is going. I’ll trust in Abadzis for now and keep up with this title. Casagrande’s artwork is pretty wonderful and perfectly fits the story perfectly, so no concerns there. For now, I’ll give this issue 3.5 cybermats out of five.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1
Written by: Al Ewing & Rob Williams, Art by: Simon Fraser
In the wake of the second Big Bang, find out what the Doctor gets up to when Amy and Rory aren’t around!
Alice Obiefune’s life is slowly falling apart, all the joy and color draining away. Which is of course the perfect time for her to encounter a giant rainbow space dog being chased by a madman in a bow-tie. This was as close to a perfect Doctor Who comic as one can get. Not only does the writing team perfectly capture the essence of the Eleventh Doctor, but they also quite successfully bring to life the fairy tale tone of the Matt Smith era and his insistence that everyone counts and there is always time to stop just to cheer someone up.
Simply a wonderful story with a sense of wonder mixed with zaniness, yet it all feels grounded as it is all really about Alice finding a reason to keep living. The artwork is exceptional, although Fraser never quite nails the look of Matt Smith, but that is by no means a deal breaker. Really looking forward to seeing more of Alice’s adventures with her new impossible friend. Five cybermats out of five!
You can pick up both of these issues in a comic book store near you from Wednesday, July 23rd.