Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #4 - Titan Comics

Considering just how sympathetic this title’s 13,411 strong audience probably were towards Alice Obiefune's personal plight, it’s incredible to think how unbelievably ungrateful and dislikeable Al Ewing somehow manages to make her within just this twenty-two page periodical's opening quarter. After all, hadn’t the Timelord’s latest female travelling companion “felt like her life was falling apart before she met” the Gallifreyan? Hadn’t his offer to show her “all the beauty and strangeness of the universe” helped lift her spirits following the death of her mother, being made redundant and getting evicted?

Somewhat shockingly, the British author would strongly suggest not, and in an especially unpleasant fit of churlishness has the former library assistant angrily scold the ‘madman with a box’ for failing to take her home in order to keep a solicitor’s appointment. Such disillusionment with time travelling, and a need to deal with the more mundane challenges of day-to-day life, may well have proved a palpable attitude if the person spouting such virtues had been an enduring confidant who had finally tired of their perpetual adventuring, such as Jo Grant or Tegan Jovanko. But not some condescending, ill-mannered youth whose life ‘amongst the stars’ had only just started, and to whom the Doctor had treated with nothing but compassionate kindness…

Sadly, the rest of Ewing’s script for Issue Four of “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor” proves just as disagreeable as Alice’s new found petulant persona. True, the ‘murder mystery’ set on board “a remote space research facility” finally starts to deal with “the temporal trail of the slippery SERVEYOUinc corporation” encountered by the TARDIS crew just a couple of editions earlier. Yet it’s ‘fresh take’ on the machinations of the “humourless” August Hart, a conniving, vicious chief of security who seemingly is trying to cover up the actions of a “formless creature creeping through the station, stealing voices and inflicting comas on those research scientists unlucky enough to be caught”, hardly makes for the “terrifying space adventure” advertised by “Titan Comics”.    

Perhaps the most unsettling aspect to “Whodunnit?” though, is Boo Cook’s breakdowns. Undoubtedly competent in his ability to sketch a story, the penciller really does an interesting job of caricaturing actor Matt Smith and his wayward hair. However, the same cannot be said for many of his other figures, most notably Hart and John Jones. Indeed, the incoming artist’s glowering, consistently cross-faced drawings of Obiefune is another reason why the young lady's character is so utterly detestable within this comic.
Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Boo Cook, and Colorist: Hi-Fi


  1. One thing I'd like to know, Simon, is this. Titan produce comics featuring numerous of the Doctor's incarnations. What made you decide to concentrate on these ones with the Eleventh Doctor? No reason for asking other than curiosity.

    1. I didn't Bryan. "Titan Comics" brought out the 10th,11th and 12th Doctors all at around the same time (I think the 12th was slightly later). I immediately bought the 10th & 11th books, and stuck with the 11th as I quite liked Simon Fraser's 'bendy' artwork for the first. But wasn't so taken with the 10th's artist, and not the 12th either.

      This is the last of the 11th Doctor issues I got as I didn't like the artwork and really didn't like Alice. So prepare for a run of 10th Doctor issues soon (as I bought a Weeping Angel story-arc I spotted where the art was okay and the story sounded good). Having said that though I also have the 4th and 3rd Doctor mini-series, plus some 9th to go through - so hopefully I'll be covering most of the Timelord's incarnations over the next year.

    2. Thanks for the info, Simon. I will certainly look forward to your reviews, especially those for the Tenth Doctor.

    3. "Doctor Who News" are rather good at previewing upcoming "Titan Comics" story-arcs and showing the artwork etc. Hence my ability to 'dip' into these comic titles rather than buy the lot. Have a look here if interested: http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2017/01/new-titan-comics.html