In Doctor Who Comic #3, the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor journey to 1903 New York, where Nicola Tesla has gone missing (again!). With the Sea Devils stirring, and time paradoxes aplenty, it will take two Doctors to resolve this conundrum. Can they? Find out in your next mighty Major Spoilers review!
DOCTOR WHO COMIC #3
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Colorist: Enrica Eren Angiolini
Letterer: Richard Starkings of Comicraft
Editor: Jack Devine
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: January 13th, 2021
Previously in Doctor Who Comic: The Web of Time is a fragile thing, so when two incarnations of the Doctor accidentally create an alternate timeline where deep sea saurians the Sea Devils have overrun planet Earth, it is up to the meddling Time Lords to set things right. With the TARDIS packed to the gills with companions and the Skithra Queen, it’s anyone’s bet whether the Doctors can fix their mess up pronto!
TWO DOCTORS, FOUR HEARTS
When in doubt, have the Doctor meet an earlier version of themselves. Doctor Who Comic #3 has the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor work together to erase the alternative timeline they’ve accidentally created. And as with all previous multi-Doctor stories, half the fun is in the banter. It’s just a pity that that is basically the highlight of a rather humdrum issue of this series.
There are way, way too many characters in Doctor Who Comic #3. Ryan is barely mentioned in dispatches, as is Rose. One scene with Rose emoting doesn’t cut it, especially given the nature and state of the relationship she had with the Tenth Doctor. Graham fulfills his latter day role as a quip machine, instead of the voice of reason. And once again, as in the television series, Yaz may as well be the Invisible Woman, for all the ‘screen’ time she is given in this issue.
Further, the story feels perfunctory, and like the coloring, just a touch drab. There’s not much sense of menace or danger. The Doctors chat to each other, while the companions stand around asking each other questions. The villains make almost no appearance whatsoever, and if you have a monster as iconic as the Sea Devils, perhaps they should actually show up at some point?
If you’re going to have more than one Doctor share an adventure, it needs to be big, bold and brassy. Sparks need to fly, as you can see in The Three Doctors. It needs to be epic, like The Five Doctors. It should have emotional heft, like The Day of the Doctor. Instead, Doctor Who Comic #3 reads like the two incarnations met each other down at the local supermarket and had a chat about the state of the weather. I mean…it’s not exactly riveting, is it.
On the plus side, writer Jody Houser does get the characters from the screen accurately down on paper. You can grin wryly as Graham says something amusing. The Thirteenth Doctor’s earnestness is apparent on the page as it is on the screen. The Tenth Doctor, especially, feels very much like David Tennant’s spirited performance. In that sense, Doctor Who Comic #3 does get the modern series very well. Just a pity about the story.
THE ART DOCTOR
On the flip side, I really enjoyed the artwork. Roberta Ingranata doesn’t go for total fidelity in reproducing each character. The Tenth Doctor, for instance, is slightly rounder faced than the television version. Perhaps Ingranata gets closest with Jodie Whitaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, in terms of the look and facial gestures. There are a lot of effects placed over the art, which works better in some instances, but not all. The fight scenes towards the end of Doctor Who Comic #3 are more silhouetted than I tend to like, but were effective enough.
I did say earlier the coloring was a little drab, but in certain sections, such as the golden glow colorist Enrica Angiolini gives to the interior TARDIS scenes, she actually improves on the look of the TARDIS on the television series. Her coloring gives the interior a real sense of being a large, impressive space, whereas on our screens, mainly because of the very oddly designed pillars which no one likes, director’s are forced into close shots to block them out.
BOTTOM LINE: COULD DO BETTER
Doctor Who Comic #3 is very much an issue that bridges the gap to the next issue. There is some story progression, but there is a lot of repetition with regards to references to similar events in earlier issues. One for devotees of this current series.
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Doctor Who Comic #3
Doctor Who Comic #3 is packed with supporting characters who get very little opportunity to shine, overshadowed by the two Doctors who basically steal every panel they appear in together. A not very interesting story fades into the background as the expanded TARDIS crew flit from location to location. It’s okay, but could be far better.