Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 is published by Titan Comics. The story is by James Goss and the writer is Jody Houser. The art is by Roberta Ingranata and colours by Enrica Erin Angiolini, with letters provided by Comicraft’s Richard Starking. Time Lord Victorious is a story told across multiple platforms, from comics to books to even immersive theatre. They feature several Doctors across all of time and space, with the comic series following the tenth incarnation.
The Doctor finds himself trapped inside a paradox, the consequences of a previous adventure. When he lands the TARDIS and exits those blue doors, he is greeted by his greatest enemies, the Daleks. The Time Lord rushes back into his time machine, transporting himself across this new, dangerous cosmos, yet the three metallic monsters remain present outside his doors. Realizing he is unable to escape, the Doctor allows the Daleks to bring him to their emperor. But his nemesis may have other uses for him before he is exterminated, as something is coming that frightens even the Daleks.
The plot is different and offers an interesting start to the series. Starting from the Doctor’s landing, we are always under the impression that he is in danger. The story moves at a fast pace, a lot of it dialogue-driven as the story is set up, slowing down a few times so the Doctor can have one of his monologues. The paradox allows Houser to have fun; certain aspects of this realm may be different than the normal one. The first example is the fact that the Daleks have no idea what the Time War is. This indicates that it hasn’t happened, or at least not yet.
Houser’s characterization of Tennant’s Doctor is amazing and spot on. The writer captures his voice perfectly, tapping into his confident swagger and swashbuckling nature. At the same time, there is always a hint of that dangerous darkness just below the fun surface of this incarnation of the Time Lord. The Emperor picks up on this, noting that the doctor seems to revel in being labeled as Oncoming Storm by his adversaries. While the Doctor is haunted by war and loathes combat, Houser shows that sometimes he is not against the idea of using his reputation at times, hinting at the arrogance of the character.
The Doctor is flying solo in this adventure so far and is the only humanoid figure within it. This adds a challenge when it comes to writing him, as he usually has a companion to bounce his jokes off of. Within Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1, he doesn’t have that, and subsequently, the only characters to respond to him are his deadliest foes. The dialogue is still wonderful, as the lack of targets does not stop the words from pouring out of his mouth. The attempt at banter between him and the genocidal monsters is amusing because he knows so much about them, and it’s true the other way around as well. He also talks to himself often. It has been suggested a few times within the TV show that the Doctor will often forget companions are there when he’s talking, and this issue shows that he can quite happily have a conversation with himself without needing a partner.
The art is superb, particularly in how Tennant’s Doctor is drawn. Ingranata etches the facial expressions beautifully as the young-looking alien sniffs the air to determine the paradox or creases his eyebrows in confusion. The youthful smirks and winks are there too, making him enjoyable to read. His iconic uniform, complicated in its design and layers, is rendered to show each crease and seam, even the scuff marks on his sneakers.
The Daleks are also fantastic in their design. Each one of them has thin lines detailing their panels, down to individual bolts. The Emperor has its own majestic design, with a gigantic domed “head,” but it doesn’t look ridiculous or distracting. I also adore Ingranata’s panels showing the Dalek ships, one of my favourite vessels within the Doctor Who universe. Their flying disk shape, exquisitely detailed, brought back that fear that wracked my body when I first saw them in The Parting of the Ways.
The Daleks are also coloured really well by Angiolini. These Daleks are slightly different to how they usually look, having lighter panels and light blue hemispheres on the bottom of their bodies and by their weapons. This colour change allows them to stand out more in my view than their usual bronze. The Emperor Dalek is unique again, bestowed with shiny gold armour plating, which shines in the light. I love the colours on the Doctor as well, the pinstripes slightly visible on his suit a nice touch. His spiked hair, clearly brushed with fingers, has both light and dark shading that gives it its energy.
The lettering by Starkings is large and easy to read. The Daleks have custom fonts, the curves of the letters replaced with straight lines. As I read them, this change made them look scratchy, and in my head, it really felt like they were being narrated by the spine-chilling voice of Nicholas Briggs.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 is a fantastic Doctor Who comic that feels like the opening few scenes of an adventure. Houser is an expert at writing the Time Lord and that has not changed within these pages. The Doctor’s voice is clear and familiar, and I was transported back to Tennant’s episodes where the energy crackled off of him when he ran. The art is clear and defined and again captures the energy brilliantly. The Time Lord Victorious event looks amazing and immersive. The story is just getting started, and I am very excited to see where it takes us.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 is available where comics are sold.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1 is a fantastic Doctor Who comic that feels like the opening few scenes of an adventure. Houser is an expert at writing the Time Lord and that has not changed within these pages.
Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”