Sunday, 1 January 2017

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #3 - Titan Comics

Despite containing an incredibly sacrilegious re-imagining of the Third Doctor’s “hi-tech, yellow Edwardian roadster” into a disconcertingly large monster truck, and the somewhat low-key introduction of an additional travelling companion in the shape of “the ultimate pop star” John Jones, Issue Three of “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor” probably still provided it’s 14,854 readers with plenty of light-hearted laughs and fun-filled action. For whilst Rob Williams’ narrative clearly has the onerous chore of having to explain the “tantalizing, achronological mystery” of his predecessor’s previous instalment, “What He Wants…” also manages to both turn Alice Obiefune’s emotional pain regarding the death of her mother into the key motivator behind the Timelord’s trip back to the “Dog & Duck” in 1962, and cause her subsequent harsh criticism of the Chameleon of Pop’s debut performance as the reason behind why “The Tall Pale Earl” would follow the disillusioned library assistant into a blue Police telephone box; “Oi! You two! I heard you two slagging me off outside the club. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.”

True, the former freelance journalist’s ensuing tale of “something stalking the bluesmen through the swamps of Mississippi” and “offering them talent beyond imaging, worlds at their feet – in exchange for their souls” is not a terribly well thought out storyline; especially as it once again relies heavily upon the extra-terrestrial corporation SERVEYOUinc and its inexplicable ability to provide people with “some sort of nasty, quick fix life-force enhancement”. But it does at least afford the lead protagonist with plenty of Matt Smith-sounding dialogue, a couple of pulse-pounding foot chases through a southern U.S. state in 1931, and John Jones’ quite hilarious abduction of the indoctrinated Gallifreyan from amidst an entire planation filled full of creepy mantra-chanting mind-controlled minions.

Most of these Machiavellian machinations are well illustrated by Simon Fraser, with the Scotsman’s rather stylised, bendy-looking figures appearing suitably frantic as the Timelord’s rubber-like physiology permits him to straddle wooden fencing, negotiate a barn-full of reprogrammed negro workers and be roughly dragged protestingly into the back of a giant-wheeled Bessie. However, sadly the same cannot be said for the rest of the artist’s pencilling, which, whenever tasked to deliver a character’s close-up or render something sedentary in nature, like Alice simply holding a conversation, appears disinteresting, poorly detailed and unattractively malformed.
The regular cover art of "DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR" No. 3 by Verity Glass

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