Doctor Who Adventures Issue 5 - Cover

In Review: Doctor Who Adventures Issue 5

Doctor Who Adventures Issue 5 - Cover

Published by Panini
Comic strip by Jason Quinn (script), Russ Leach (art) and coloured by John Burns
Test story by Jason Quinn, illustrated by Russ Leach

The Issue: Summer’s here and the time is right for reading the latest issue of Doctor Who Adventures. Issue 5. In this issue’s strip, “Trust”, the Doctor takes Clara back to the liberation of Paris in World War Two for the biggest party the party capital of the world has ever seen, but things soon go awry when the deadly Darapok Empire try to take over the war weary city. Take a summer trip to Paris in 1944!

• For the full details on the issue’s contents, check out our sneak preview here.

Here's the inked version of a page from "Trust", drawn by Russ Leach, before it was coloured by John M. Burns.
Here’s the inked version of a page from “Trust”, drawn by Russ Leach, before it was coloured by John M. Burns.
The Review: Doctor Who Adventures may have slipped a tad in sales terms in the first six months of 2015 (see news story), but the move to Panini, with some wonderful nostalgic touches such as the “Doctor’s Letter”, harking back to the glory days of Doctor Who Weekly, are an indication of the kind of attention the title is getting under its editorial team that, hopefully, will ensure its long term future.

Editor Jason Quinn bravely took the decision to blend the modern format on many British news stand comics – dominated by features rather than comic strip and stories – with the elements older downthetubes will happily ascribe to their  idea of a comic. DWA not only has a strong comic content which will quickly, I hope, enable re-use of material in softbck collections (because that’s what I’d be doing with it), but also includes well thought out, fun features, capitalising on the show’s rich mythology, along with the bonus of a Paternoster Gang text story every issue.

Have you ever thought someone was talking to you, when there’s nobody there? No? Happens to me all the time…

This issue’s comic strip, “Trust”, set in wartime Paris is a hoot. Written by Jason Quinn​, artist Russ Leach​ has really got into his groove drawing both the Twelfth Doctor and Clara with complete assurance. Without spoiling the story, I have to say I’m not completely convinced by the way the Doctor defeats the aliens threatening Earth – I’m not sure that the means he uses has ever been used that way before – but it’s a lot of fun.

For me, Jason Quinn has also captured both Twelfth Doctor’s character with this daft tale, and the relationship between the Time Lord and companion Clara, both working in sync to beat the bad guys.

A special mention, too, for Russ’s illustrations for this issue’s text story, “The Singular Case of the Time Machine” – the full page of the time machine (and it’s not the one you’re possibly thinking of) is simply marvellous.

Feature wise, I enjoyed “Srax’s Guide to the Galaxy” this issue, along with “Time Lords At War” profiling the Doctor and the Master/Mistress. All these items – as I said, part and parcel of modern British news stand comics – are put together with care and intelligence, which is more than can be said for a lot of other titles with the same format. (I mean, who wouldn’t want to build a “Vortex Manipulator”, courtesy of Clara’s Craft Studio? You don’t see one of those every day!)

Doctor Who Adventures Offcial Site - Screenshot August 2015
The Doctor Who Adventures Offcial Site is back up and running and bang up to date
The switch from publication at Immediate Media to Panini hasn’t been without its problems but, thankfully, at least the title now has its own dedicated web site once more at www.dwamag.com, crammed with some smashing Who digital freebies such as wallpapers and more, which it didn’t have at relaunch. This should help get the word out about the title and, with what looks like a cracking new season of Doctor Who on its way to our screens starting 19th September, I’m sure that will help cement the DWA team’s great work and gain it the attention and stronger sales it deserves.

Doctor Who Adventures – suitable for al ages from 5 – 500 – is available now in all good newsagents (and some run by Zygons). Web: www.dwamag.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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