Thursday, 27 May 2021

Doctor Who [2020] #4 - Titan Comics

DOCTOR WHO No. 4, March 2021
Apart from a horribly clichéd conclusion which revolves around the Thirteenth Doctor’s decision to activate a stolen Venusian spaceship’s conveniently-accessible self-destruct device so as to save Humanity, there arguably wasn’t much to Jody Houser’s plot for Issue Four of “Doctor Who” to keep its readers either enjoyably enthralled or even briefly entertained. Admittedly, the twenty-two page periodical does contain one brief moment of action when the female Time Lord’s friendly extra-terrestrial Queen bravely battles her much more ferocious counter-part for control of the aforementioned vessel. But even this savage clash of vicious kicks and lashing scorpion-like tails is over within the space of a handful of panels.

Instead, the American author seems to spend the vast majority of this comic desperately trying to pad her storyline out with a series of dialogue-heavy conversational pieces, and portraying the Gallifreyan’s Tenth incarnation in a less than charitable fashion. Indeed, there genuinely appears to be some sort of ‘hidden agenda’ going on with this book’s narrative to seemingly show Jodie Whittaker’s character as the two-hearted adventurer’s definitive regeneration by having her repeatedly scold her earlier male self in front of the TARDIS crew and telling him to “just shut it.”

Equally as unlikeable is Houser’s suggestion that the ‘holier than thou’ “live wire” is apparently perfectly entitled to criticise others for proposing that they use violence to achieve their personal goals, such as the technology-stealing scavenger aliens who have abducted both Nikola Tesla and Thomas A. Edison. Yet when it comes to stopping the Skithra, the Doctor doesn’t even batter an eyelid when she quickly elects to literally blow all the aliens orbiting Mars out of the sky without any warning whatsoever; “Love a good plan, or a bad plan with room for improvisation. Or an idea that could become a plan.”

Desperately trying to make this publication’s narrative last just long enough to fill out its required page count is Roberta Ingranata, whose prodigious pencilling at least manages to provide those bibliophiles able to successfully endure Jody’s sedentary script with a modicum of pleasing eye candy. In fact, one of this comic’s highlights is the Italian illustrator’s excellent ability to provide all of its quite considerably-sized cast with plenty of readily recognisable facial expressions and physical mannerisms.

Writer: Jody Houser, Artist: Roberta Ingranata, and Colorist: Enrica Eren Angiolini

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