Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #1

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ThirteenthDoctor1VCPublished by “Titan Comics” at a time when some within the British National media were busy accusing the BBC science fiction series of suffering a significant ratings drop due to its viewers ‘branding the show as being too PC’, Jody Houser’s script for Issue One of “Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor” probably proved a far less contentious experience with its focus upon a pair of time-travelling thieves and some notable interactions between the Gallifreyan’s “three brand new companions” rather than any obvious promotion of SJW socially progressive views. Indeed, a fair amount of this twenty-two page periodical is seemingly spent just trying to reassure its readership that the “comic book author who wrote the 2017 comic adaptation of the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” can most assuredly capture both the televised mannerisms and vocabulary of Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O’Brien.

Of course, tucked inside this “new beginning” are the makings of an intriguing adventure involving a pair of hapless humanoid scientists who seem to be unwillingly stealing antiques from the Earth’s past in order to appease the desires of a rather regal-looking, blue-skinned extra-terrestrial. But for the most part, much of this publication could perhaps be rather unkindly criticised for simply showing how close the Doctor’s “most thrilling incarnation yet” is to her ‘small screen’ counterpart as played by actress Jodie Whittaker. In fact, the titular character’s dialogue is seemingly so spot on, that it would be very interesting to know just how much help the franchise’s producer and lead writer, Chris Chibnall, actually provided to the Eisner Award-nominee’s narrative; “Now if I’m right, and I’m pretty sure I usually am… We should be able to track the signature of the disruption.”

Disappointingly however, as with so many stories penned during the ‘Nu Who’ era, this story’s telling does debatably suffer with an over-abundance of the “charismatic and confident” explorer’s sonic screwdriver. Whether the device is being used to scientifically assess an “almost certainly” dangerous time tunnel, provide the TARDIS with a unique energy signature in order to allow the sentient Police Box to “build an algorithm to calculate exactly where the [aforementioned] disruption will [next] appear”, or help the Thirteenth Doctor “stabilize the disruption as long as I can”, the protagonist’s repeated use of the audible probe makes one worryingly wonder just how the Time Lord has ever survived without it.

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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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