The first Doctor of the modern era finally gets an ongoing series all his own! Will it be fantastic? Your Major Spoilers review of Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 awaits!
DOCTOR WHO: THE NINTH DOCTOR #1
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colorist: Matheus Lopez
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Editor: Andrew James
Publisher: Titan Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor: After a long absence from our TV screens, 2005 brought the return of Doctor Who, with a brand-new look and attitude for our favorite Time Lord. Blending anger, humor, darkness and tragedy, The Ninth Doctor rediscovered his true self with the help of a young Earthwoman named Rose Tyler, eventually sacrificing himself to save her life, making this life the shortest incarnation in all his myriad lives…
But now, they’re back!
A BRAVE NEW WORLD (WITH FAMILIAR FACES IN IT)
We open with The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness on the run from a giant alien monster on an “uninhabited” planet (“Might have got that bit wrong,” The Doctor says, amusingly) before escaping into time and space. As part of their travels, Team TARDIS has set up an interstellar emergency network to control access to any of the artifacts from the Time War…
…a network which immediately gives an alert. One quick trip later, The Doctor arrives on Gharusa Prime, where somehow HE is the biggest celebrity in history. It’s a clever conceit, and one that blends in meta-references to real-world Doctor Who fandom, and even some clever references to social media culture of 2016 through the lens of characters from 2005. (Remember, the Ninth Doctor’s adventures all have to take place a decade ago, as we know the start and end points of his lifetime.) The issue ends with The Doctor in custody, Rose in jeopardy and familiar foes menacing our Time Lord hero once again…
SOME TRULY EXCELLENT ART
The real star of this issue, though, is the art of Adriana Melo, who captures the hard-to-replicate features of Christopher Eccleston beautifully (including the Doctor’s baleful glare) and does an okay Billie Tyler and John Barrowman, as well as excellent alien cityscapes that remind me of licensed comics of the 1970s. There’s also a meaningful appearance by a vehicle strongly resembling the Whomobile from the Third Doctor’s final adventures and a lot of cute aliens who are simply thrilled to have the legendary Doctor visiting their world. After the Ninth Doctor’s recent limited series, I worried that BBC wasn’t willing to let Titan use him in ongoing adventures (It’s not actually a long stretch, the Doctor Who Magazine strips were severely curtailed in certain things they wanted to do because of creator limitations on this character) so I’m happy to see this ongoing series get the green light.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD START
Even better, this issue is a good one, with attractive art (even the gross alien beastie), clever dialogue and a strong enough grasp on the dynamics of this TARDIS crew that I never disconnected from the story being told, leaving Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 with a more-than-impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. We are now one step closer to my eventual dream of 13 ongoing Doctor Who monthly books with occasional loopy crossovers, including my dream team of the Sixth and Ninth Doctors going head to head. Are you listening, Titan Comics?