Neorama has put up new art for the first of IDW’s American Doctor Who comics and it shows that, once again, the early Doctor Who Weekly strips drawn by Dave Gibbons are going to be reprinted. The first of these, The Iron Legion, was the story about Roman robots controlled by a demon-like being, while the second, City of the Damned, was set on an alien planet where the populace are kept subservient.
The creator and first editor of Doctor Who Weekly, Dez Skinn, was non-pussed by the news. “Man, how many times is this stuff going to be reprinted?” he commented in a post to the Quality Communications Yahoo group. “This is, what, the fifth time to date?”.
Indeed. Since the original Iron Legion appeared in the first few issues of Doctor Who Weekly it has been reprinted in the 1980 Doctor Who Summer Special, the US Marvel Premiere, the 1985 Doctor Who Summer Special Classic, and most recently in the Panini graphic novel The Iron Legion. Perhaps it just goes to show how good the strips that Dez commissioned almost two decades ago were. How many times have the comic strips from the Doctor’s adventures in TV Comic been reprinted?
Originally in black and white, colourised versions of the early Doctor Who Weekly strips have been published in the US before, initially in Marvel Premiere, four issues of which tested the American market, which was followed by a regular Marvel Doctor Who title which lasted 23 issues. Marvel deemed American sensibilities too delicate for the second story to remain titled as City Of The Damned and they retitled it as City Of The Cursed.
Let us hope that IDW will remain with the original title this time. After all, while the American publishers of the Harry Potter books retitled the first book from The Philosopher’s Stone to The Sorcerer’s Stone for the American market, they saw more sense with the later books. Harry Potter and The Very Big Room Of Secrets might have been difficult to fit onto a front cover!
Update, 9/1/08: The IDW Doctor Who comics will only be available in the US for licensing reasons.