Thursday, 12 January 2017

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1 - Titan Comics

It could easily be argued that any comic book which is published with more variant covers than it actually has pages, is probably trying to make up for its deficiencies. Yet whilst Issue One of “Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor” doesn’t actually contain any of the “shocks, surprises, and galaxy-shaking revelations” promised with “seasoned TARDIS pilot Robbie Morrison” at the helm, it’s twenty-two page narrative does manage to imitate the BBC Television series rather well.

In fact, the Dunbartonshire-born writer seems to have penned a somewhat complicated tale about the “richest human in the twenty-fifth century" terraforming “a former ice-giant” which genuinely feels like something taken straight from the science fiction programme. Certainly, the Scotman’s script follows the usual time-travelling formula of grisly death, TARDIS landing, crew are captured, Doctor wins over captors by saving lives, and then discovers the ‘big menace’ threatening the existence of the entire planet: “It’s fused with the terra-sphere, creating a single entity. This is what’s in evolutionary control of Isen VI… Run!” 

Equally as well done is Morrison’s handling of Peter Calpaldi’s prickly incarnation of the Time Lord. “Freshly regenerated and with a new head full of unanswered questions” the Gallifreyan could easily have been portrayed as a rather bland, uninspiring leading protagonist, or perhaps worst, have been erroneously imbued with the personality of one of his predecessors. Fortunately though, the co-creator of “Nikolai Dante” has clearly done his research on the show’s BAFTA Television Award-winning lead, and resultantly the abrasively benevolent Doctor both sounds and behaves precisely as this book’s 33,891 readers who probably expect. However sadly, the same cannot be said for companion Clara Oswald, who, apart from one moment of “impossible girl” magic where she demands her stolen ski hat back from a jungle full of ‘Skunkeys’, disconcertingly appears as lack lustre as the other “uncool teachers [at Coal Hill School] that they make fun of and give silly names.”     
Perhaps equally as disappointing as Jenna Coleman’s characterisation, are Dave Taylor’s somewhat dubiously cartoony-looking breakdowns. Clearly able to provide the Twelfth Doctor with his famous arched eyebrows and some exquisitely detailed “exotic flora and fauna”, the Liverpudlian’s pencils for the majority of this book are lamentably inconsistent, irregularly angular and at times, demoralizingly amateurish.
The variant cover art of "DOCTOR WHO: THE TWELFTH DOCTOR" No. 1 by Mariano Laclaustra

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