Doctor Who Comics #2 is written by Jody Houser with art and colors by Roberta Ingranata, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Shari Chankhamma. Comicraft’s Sarah Hedrick provides the letters for this series published monthly by Titan Comics. The world is a hot mess. Doctors Ten (played on screen by David Tennant) and Thirteen (Jodie Whittaker) said their farewells to one another in the previous series, only to jump into a present-day that is far from the expected.
It’s an invasion, and not just a sudden alien force descending onto the globe to conquer. Something has taken over civilization centuries ago, before the to Doctors set things right in 1969. But the side effect of right means setting down the respective TARDIS boxes in an alternate timeline. Humans are conquered. The primordial species called Sea Devils, and other beings, are roaming about freely. People are interred and time is shot.
Interestingly, while the two Docs went their separate ways, they are unaware of the other also being stranded in this alternate timeline, so our story proceeds from two different perspectives. Thirteenth and her fam (Graham, Ryan, and Yaz) are traipsing about trying to understand where it all diverged and how to fix it. Meanwhile, Tenth encounters a very different Rose Tyler and attempts to convince her not to, well, shoot him dead.
Let’s wander about with the fam first. They have encountered Rose’s parents, both of them alive (the father should have died years ago, but again, time-stuff). Thirteen’s attempts to sniff out the true cause of time going sideways reveals only more aliens and less solid leads as to how to solve the problem. Despite the fact Earth has gone to hell, the writing portrays Thirteen and her fam so well it felt exactly like watching an episode of the show on BBC, just with still frames. That characteristic zingy appeal Jodie Whittaker infuses into her portrayal is on display here, along with her curiosity, quirky comments, and back and forth snark with the fam. It is a breath of fresh air seeing a character tackle such grim obstacles with panache.
The same holds for Ten and Rose. Although Rose in this timeline has become a gun-toting rebel, she is still the same person overall. While Ten enters the scene with an amount of tenderness, of caution that David Tennant exemplified in his best moments of Whovian acting. He speaks to Rose in this issue with a very direct yet relatable tone, acknowledging the closeness to her while admitting to her change in this reality. The entirety of the Earth being conquered in Doctor Who is nothing new. A fan can trace such a tale back to the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell. But the seriousness of the situation—of saving the entire planet—is there and its effects on characters such as Rose are prevalent. Doctor Who Comics #2 offers a fine balance of doom with its wit.
Houser is a writing tour-de-force in the comic world, and from this series alone she should be writing episodes for the Doctor Who TV series. She twists the plot around here in the second issue, enough to startle a Who fan while leading the main cast closer to the heart of the problem. She offers a steady dose of exposition, action, sass, and compassion page after page that has me rooting for and eager for issue #3.
And speaking of people who should be working on the TV series, Ingranata, Angiolini, Chankhamma, and Hedrick must be on storyboard detail just on the accurate renderings and wordings of the cast members alone. I noticed some off cue looks with Yaz and Ryan, but felt overall that the art and colors were fabulous. Also, this trio can easily transition with such ease from pages of grit, dirt, and the dystopic grime of human rebels to the clean, neon glow of Thirteen’s face, realism, and animated appeal. This is an incredible team assembled for Titan’s Who comic series.
If you aren’t reading this title, snatch it up in print or online. This is an excellent Who story with as much fun and drama in the script as exists in the pencils, colors, inks, and letters.
Doctor Who Comics #2 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Doctor Who Comics #2
This is an excellent Who story with as much fun and drama in the script as exists in the pencils, colors, inks, and letters.