Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 continues to illustrate the Doctor’s progressive – if dismissive – mindset and bring the goddess Kali back to earth.
Previously in Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #3: THE DOCTOR AND CLARA FACE AN IMMORTAL ENEMY! In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country’s rich myths and legends. Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return. But her psychic essence could not be killed… nor her millennia-long quest for vengeance. Now, in the 23rd Century, she is on the brink of resurrection. And with India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it’s not only Earth that falls to her predations if she succeeds – but the whole cosmos! In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India’s past, present and future – if they are to survive… THE SWORDS OF KALI! New three-part story begins this issue! Don’t miss your chance to get on board the Twelfth Doctor series!
A REALLY COOL STORY
Comics based on pre-existing properties are difficult to manage. That in mind, writer Robbie Morrison has done a really excellent job with Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4. It is set in the near future India – 2315 to be exact and at the top of the issue the Doctor and Clara have been separate and are each traveling with an Indian woman – one from the past and one from the future – so we get to the timey wimey stuff right away!
First off, Morrison nails the Twelfth Doctor’s tone and the dialogue he as the Doctor deliver throughout Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 can easily be heard in Peter Capaldi’s voice if readers are familiar with the most recent Doctor Who television series. It makes for a very compelling reading experience and does make up for the fact that Morrison puts a lot of words into each panel.
Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 begins with the Doctor and Rani traveling together. Rani is an amazon warrior from the 19th Century who was nearly killed for having an affair with the Queen she was stationed to protect. In spite of her openness Rani manifest immense shame of her homosexuality – a detail which the Doctor immediately dismissed as unimportant. He concludes that if people who just treat each other decently the world would be a better place. That single act of acceptance – conscious of otherwise – is excellently handled by Morrison combining the Doctor’s otherworldly acceptance and perception and the most present incarnation’s gruff personality.
Clara is traveling with Priyanka and they aren’t playing the getting-to-know-you game so much, rather they spend their opening scene in Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 running from minions of Kali. Kali is the many-armed blue Hindu goddess that readers will likely be familiar with from her permeation in pop culture and she is searching for a physical hold back in our world … and a pretty English school teacher seems to be the ideal host.
Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 drives Priyanka, Rani and the Doctor together and faced with the head of the Scindia family who also happens to be the head of the Kaliratha – the cult of Kali. He does deliver an evil villain speech that recalls a theme common throughout Doctor Who history, but Morrison has woven together such an interesting mythology as a backdrop for his drama that it hardly feels out of place.
The greatest strength of Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 I that it is based in one of the most magical religion that currently exists on earth, the writer has nailed Peter Capaldi’s sardonic tone (that always covers up a true emotional undercurrent), and that we’ve hit the beats readers expect from this type of story.
Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 is easily the best Doctor Who comic I’ve read all year.
JUST ENOUGH OF THE LIKENESSES
Dave Taylor is a good artist and he’s hit the delicate balance in Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 that makes it a really enjoyable read. The likenesses that readers expect from licensed properties is there, especially with Capaldi. More often than not the Doctor strongly resembles the latest actor to take on the mantle and that does instill a level of comfort. Clara only resembles Jenna Coleman a little less often, but as she is featured in less of the issue I didn’t have a problem with that.
24th Century India was the best thing Dave Taylor put on the pages of Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4. He marries the cultural and aesthetic influences with the smooth, sleek lines we have come to expect of a futuristic storyline. Many of the settings throughout the issues are downright beautiful to behold.
Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 is a good looking issue that touches just enough on the world and actors it is derivative of to not be distracting to longtime fans.
THE BOTTOM LINE: THE DOCTOR ROCKS
Doctor Who: the Twelfth Doctor #4 was a really cool issue and a very fun read. It was everything I had hoped for with characters I recognize on an adventure they might not have been able to take outside of these pages. If you are a fan of the Twelfth Doctor this is definitely an issue you’ll want to pick up.