Doctor Who: Thirteenth Doctor #1
Writer: Jody Houser
Artists: Rachael Stott, Enrica Eren Angiolini
Publisher: Titan Comics
FC, $3.99, 32pp, On sale: 7th November 2018
With 13 Variant Covers – full details here
The Book: Experience mind-blowing challenges and dynamic adventures through time and space – right alongside the Doctor and her friends!
The Spoiler Free Review: Echoing the fast pace of the newly regenerated TV show, the first issue of Titan Comics Thirteenth Doctor series is out next week, in comic shops and through various digital platforms – and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed after all the build up to it.
First, the positives (and there are plenty). Despite a huge cast, Jody Houser very successfully manages to not only introduce the antagonist in this initial story, along with unwilling assistants, laying trails that will explain why time travelling thieves are stealing various items such as old paintings from across, presumably, centuries.
“Team TARDIS” are also deftly introduced, the comics medium affording character vignettes that are impossible on TV, thanks in no small part to great art from Rachael Stott; frames capturing the characters, particularly the Thirteenth Doctor’s, be it her uncertainty at her recent regeneration, or delight at witnessing a universal wonder.
Although we’ve only had four TV episodes so far, this new comic builds neatly on the on screen dynamics, but more than that, there are lines from the Doctor that make her very much her own, distinct character. Without going spoiler-y, there’s an interchange between Graham O’Brien and the now female Doctor for example, that has a very different resonance because of that situation, yet perfectly treads that line between a brilliant, pointed observational one liner and avoids the pitfall of all too obvious, if sadly often necessary, social comment.
As an opening chapter, spinning numerous threads for things to come, this first issue succeeds very nicely. I would venture to argue that the whole tracking of the cause of a temporal anomaly took up too many pages, but perhaps that’s in part down to the expectation of seeing all of “Team TARDIS” doing something, rather than some being consigned to the sidelines.
Art-wise, Rachael Stott’s work on this issue is terrific, but hopefully the preview pages we’ve run are more than enough evidence of that.
The Thirteenth Doctor has gotten off to a good start on TV, in the new Doctor Who Magazine strip, ad now, with Titan Comics. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story develops.
I’ll leave it to you to decide which one of those variant covers you’ll choose… at least there aren’t as many as the first issue of the new Fantastic Four!