Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colours: Matheus Lopes
Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Designer: Rob Farmer
Out: 13 April 2016 (Variant covers available, see our preview for full range)
The Comic: The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack receive a troubling transmission from another time, which they follow all the way to a planet called Gharusa Prime. They’re surprised upon arrival to find someone has stolen their thunder and is already – in a very Doctor-ish fashion! – taking on the monstrous, mechanical Chumblies who are currently wreaking havoc.
The Review: If this first issue is anything to go by, then the continuing comic strip adventures of the Ninth Doctor are going to be great. Writer Cavan Scott starts proceedings with a bang, with a ‘pre-credits teaser’ that sees the Doctor, Rose and Jack pursued by an alien creature who then tries to consume the TARDIS whole (although it ‘vworps’ away before that can happen). These first few, adrenaline-fueled pages set the tone for the rest of the story, which barrels along at a break-neck pace.
For me, this captures the feel of the 2005 series well (or perhaps I’m misremembering; after all, as someone famously once said, although I can’t remember who, the memory cheats!)*. 2005 was, of course, when the Doctor burst back onto our screens and for 13 beautiful weeks, Saturday nights were full of thrills, spills and lots and lots of running (again)! (And, indeed, have mostly continued to be.)
Scott is ably assisted in his endeavours by Brazilian artist Adriana Melo, whose clean, open style I was not previously familiar with. It comes as no surprise to me that the artist has worked on superhero comics as well as Star Wars: Empire, because she really knows how to keep action moving along in a pacey and engaging way. The characterisation is good too, with her depiction of the Doctor and his companions falling somewhere between a strict, photo-realistic representation and caricature.
At times Adriana’s work reminded me of Kevin Maguire’s, which, of course, is no bad thing! Colourist Matheus Lopes’ choices, meanwhile, suit the story well. With credits that also include The Spire and an issue of Wicked + Divine, he goes for bright (but not garish) colours that reflect the upbeat and fun nature of this comic.
That sense of fun also comes from a well-written TARDIS team, whose voices (and banter) Scott captures well, and he’s also good at adding a touch of humour to proceedings. For example, when the Doctor first lands on Gharusa Prime and suddenly, unexpectedly has someone asking for his autograph (to say more about that would spoil what was, for me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this comic, and so I won’t!)
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Ninth Doctor Issue #1 and plan, when I next wander in, to ask my local comic shop to add the series to my pull list. And if you’re a fan of the Eccleston Doctor, then maybe you should too.
• Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 (Ongoing) is on sale in all good comic shops from Wednesday 13th April, as well as various digital platforms. (Variant covers available, see our preview for full range)
Cavan will be signing copies of his new novel, Sherlock Holmes The Patchwork Devil, at Forbidden Planet Bristol on Saturday 30th April 2016. Visit the events page on the Forbidden Planet web site for further details
• Titan Comics: http://titan-comics.com
* Long time Doctor Who fan in-joke