Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #2

4

Poor

ThirteenthDoctor2Firmly focusing upon the creative team’s uncanny ability to mimic the mannerisms of television actress Jodie Whittaker, Issue Two of “Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor” probably proved a somewhat plodding experience for those readers expecting Jody Houser’s narrative to make any significant headway in its explanation as to just how Leon Perkins and “the foremost expert on temporal physics”, Irene Schulz, came to be ‘owned’ by a greedy, gold-grabbing extra-terrestrial demon. In fact, the publication somewhat begrudgingly only allocates a mere four pages to this particular (central) storyline, seemingly preferring to depict instead just how vehemently opposed to weapons the titular “charismatic and confident” character is, even when such an adversity to her companions arming themselves clearly puts the entire TARDIS crew in mortal danger; “No. No guns. Not while you’re with me.”

Admittedly, the Time Lord’s dislike of weapons is nothing new, as the Seventh Doctor’s continual criticism of Ace for repeatedly carrying Nitro-9 explosives around attests. But such disapproval arguably hasn’t ever before manifested itself so strongly that the rather aggressive Gallifreyan won’t even allow her much-needed allies to carry them. It’s certainly hard to imagine just how this current incarnation of the “brave and selfless” explorer would have coped if they’d been paired up with the Sevateem tribe savage Leela and the primitive’s lethal collection of poisonous Janis thorns…

Possibly just as perturbing though is the time traveller’s sudden ability to conveniently bring the TARDIS to her exact location whenever she wishes courtesy of a signal from the sonic screwdriver. The multifunctional device’s overuse has been increasingly criticised ever since the BBC programme’s revival in 2005 and disconcertingly would now appear to be the only way for the Thirteenth Doctor to discover a “way out” when her headlong flight through “an alien war prison” suddenly runs out of corridors to escape down.

Fortunately however, what this twenty-two page periodical lacks in plot progression it more than makes up for courtesy of Rachael Stott’s excellent storyboarding. “The artist for several Titan Doctor Who comic stories” really seems to know precisely how to pencil the facial expressions of the Time Lord, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O’Brien, to the extent where it’s dead easy to imagine the relevant actors actually performing each panel. Indeed, this book’s interior artwork is so impressive that it’s a shame the regular illustrator later had to rely upon the drawing skills of Giorgia Sposito and Valeria Favoccia in order for the comic’s final seven pages to be sketched…

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4

Poor

Reviewed by
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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