Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Boo Cook
Published by: Titan comics
Al Ewing returns to Doctor Who to pen a “whodunit” story set aboard a futuristic space station with a strange alien entity on the loose. It’s a slightly more horror focused story, perfect for Halloween, though retains the fun and energy of the series so far making for another incredibly strong issue.
First off, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way, Simon Fraser is not the artist on this issue. I know it’s unfair to pre-judge, but Fraser’s art has been such a good fit for this series that I was instantly disappointed to see someone else on the book. Thankfully my fears were slightly alleviated by the fact that the aptly named Boo Cook proves himself a pretty talented artist… just perhaps not the right fit for this book. Cook’s art, particularly when it comes to the scenery, looks fantastically sci-fi will still maintaining the look and feel of the whoniverse. Unfortunately, while his character designs are pretty detailed and authentic they look a little stiff, which is disappointing given how the exaggerated style has been one of the series highlights for me. It’s still really good art, I just don’t think it suits this series. I would however be a fan of Cook doing another Doctor Who book where his style would fit better (perhaps even on a ninth doctor comic? Hint Hint Titan).
When it comes to the writing however the series is just as strong as ever. The stand out for me however wasn’t the entertaining murder mystery story or the exciting cliff-hanger, but instead was the strong character work and development of our main cast. I’m really warming up to Alice as a companion, her more mature and at times jaded outlook on life is an interesting foil against the child-like optimism of the eleventh doctor. Her outlook forces him to act more mature and grown-up, leading to an angle that wasn’t played up often in the tv show making for some compelling reading. One particular confrontation regarding the doctor’s previous companions provides a very nice emotional moment, something I really like seeing in Doctor Who. Even one of my main criticisms from last issue is addressed as Jones seems to have joined the tardis crew while he attempts to discover his muse and become a rock legend. The character had a lot of potential last issue and I’m glad to see he’s sticking around, even if he does feel a bit more… stoned (to put it bluntly) under Ewing’s pen.
All in all, this is yet another fantastic issue of a series that is becoming one of my favourites. This is a fantastic comic for Doctor Who fans, though I’d also recommend it to non-fans looking to get into the series. So far this book has perfectly captured the spirit of the show and has made itself accessible enough that anyone can read it regardless of how well you know the show. It seems we’re starting to move into longer story arcs and some wibbly wobbly time travel stuff, so if you’re not already reading this series I highly recommend you jump on now, regardless of you stance on Doctor Who. This is series is a ton of fun and hasn’t had a single misstep so far.