Titan Comics has given us the ongoing comic-style adventures of all the modern Doctors, but some of you are doubtless wondering about stories featuring the earlier incarnations of the last of the Time Lords.
Faithful Spoilerites, this just might be your lucky day! Your Major Spoilers review of Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #1 awaits!
DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #1
Writer: George Mann
Artist: Emma Vieceli
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Editor: Andrew James
Publisher: Titan Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor: “The Eighth Doctor has come a long way since he regenerated in the morgue of Grace Holloway’s hospital. He has known many friends and fast companions in his life – Charley Pollard, C’rizz, Lucie Miller Tamsin Drew, Molly O’Sullivan and many more.
Now, traveling alone after an intense period in his long life, The Doctor has returned to his most regular haunt… Earth.
MEANWHILE, AT THE THIRD DOCTOR’S HOUSE…
The Eighth Doctor exists in a strange netherworld, not quite a classic Doctor (his movie adventure came several years after the classic series was cancelled), not quite a modern Doctor (though his regeneration did play an important role in setting up the 50th Anniversary special.) Though his televised adventure number only 2, one of which is a mini-episode, but his real-world tenure and list of adventures in alternate media are by far the longest of any of the Doctors. This issue opens with the familiar TARDIS ‘vworp vworp’ in a small English village, surprising the heck out of a young woman named Josie Day, who has taken residence in the Third Doctor’s abandoned cottage. Eight has returned to his former home in search of a specific book, one that he left here in his Third incarnation, in order to follow up on unfinished business, but as tends to be the case with the Doctor, strange events immediately follow…
WHERE HE GOES, MONSTERS FOLLOW
Josie and the Eighth Doctor quickly fall into a familiar ‘Doctor Who’ pattern, as the immortal alien takes a plucky young girl (usually from the UK, nearly always from the modern era, whatever that means) under his wing, and their adventures illuminate both of their worlds. Though we’ve seen this before in Titan Comics with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, this issue’s story doesn’t feel overly familiar. Indeed, the revelation of what’s actually happening is a clever bit of technobabble, leading to the story’s cliffhanger/hook, to lead us into the rest of this limited series. It’s easy to hear Paul McGann’s voice in this Eighth Doctor (in one of his manic phases, anyway), but the art is a little bit less consistent for me. The first couple of panels depict a character much younger than even the 1996 rendition, and there is an occasionally distracting elasticity to faces and anatomy throughout the issue. It’s distracting, but not entirely destructive to the story being told, and by the end of the issue, it seemed to have works itself out.
THE BOTTOM LINE: CHARMING ENOUGH
In short, this is a nice little Eighth Doctor adventure, one that sets up the possibility of his traveling with Josie for a bit (in addition to the most adventures, Eight may also have the longest recorded companion list in DW history), and just generally having fun with the premise. It’s an adventure that doesn’t specifically REQUIRE the presence of Paul McGann’s Doctor rather than, say David Tennant’s or Matt Smith’s, but it’s a nice change of pace to have this Doctor on the comic-book page. Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #1 is fast-paced, with clever dialogue and setup, even with its inconsistent art, earning a very solid 3 out of 5 stars overall. This book could literally go anywhere from here, making it the best kind of Doctor Who adventure…