Minor spoilers ahead, readers be wary!
Dr. Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1
Our friends over at Titan Comics have given Mind of the Geek the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the upcoming issue of Dr. Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1, which officially hits shelves October 15, 2014. Creators Robbie Morrison and Dave Taylor have brought the newest addition to the time-lord family line to comic books, and have done so in a spectacular fashion.
Dr. Who: The Twelfth Doctor has every staple and trademark of a classic, Moffat-written episode of the wildly popular show. Clara is confused about something mundane and commonplace at the beginning, the Doctor insults her in a roundabout way, they travel to a planet and find something they are not expecting, adventure ensues, Clara goes missing and the Doctor swoops into action. However, as with most first issues of a new series, this book sets itself apart form the show by introducing what is, to me, a new villain for the dynamic duo to struggle with; a small, horned fiery-stone creature that calls itself or its dastardly organization ‘Hyperios’.
It is the tried-and-true formula of a Dr. Who episode and the familiar, lovable banter between Twelve and Clara that makes this comic enjoyable. The dialogue for Clara feels exactly as she is in the show, and even her facial expressions are drawn with a familiarity that screams ‘Clara the Impossible Girl’ as she gets into a few sticky, laughable situations with some monkey/skunk hybrids. The events that happen in the book feel similar to what one would expect to happen in the show, and this strengthens the story by making it feel utterly genuine and perfectly balanced.
Twelve speaks in a way not dissimilar to Clara, in that every sentence, anecdote or paragraph written for him in the book rings in the readers head beautifully in that wry Scottish accent of Capaldi’s. Ever since the unveiling of the new Doctor, Twelve has been an enigma in terms of accurate ways to describe him. Some people will calm him dire, others will call him misunderstood, lost, violent or dangerous. That is the beauty of Dr. Who, however; he is whoever the reader or watcher sees him as. In this case, in this particular book, he is whimsical but strong, and very driven. His adventurous spirit and comedic aloofness fit perfectly with his dialogue in a way that drives the story forward through everyone of his paragraphs. He is quick witted and sincere, and even delivers a sound moral speech early in the book, followed by a quick discourse on why he is the best dressed Doctor.
Once again, the accuracy of the characters only adds to the books overall atmosphere and feeling of genuine Whovian wealth.
Even Twelve’s eyebrows are captured perfectly. Look at these big, serious rage filled caterpillars.
With the likeliness to the characters being so spot on, it really leaves the story to shine on its own. For fans of the series, the formula will feel familiar and smooth. It is so simply a Dr. Who story that there is little other way to describe it, and therein lies its beauty. Aside from the obviously excellent art style, the story is paced as an episode is, and reads smoothly and intelligibly. The coloring is heavy handed and well placed, making the alien world Clara and Twelve find themselves on a lush and beautiful landscape suited perfectly for the comic book format.
The weakest character in the book is already made secondary by the last few panels, as he is introduced as the villain but quickly outed as a simple figurehead of sorts, which works well because if he had stayed in the story any longer, it would have taken a serious hit to the overall quality of the book. Mr Kano Dollar, you are cordially invited to leave the evil deeds to Hyperios.
Dr. Who: The Twelfth Doctor goes to great lengths to achieve a feeling of genuine authenticity, and achieves its goal after the first few pages. With a book that captures the essence and atmosphere of the series this well and introduces a new villain in a spectacular manner, this first issue seems to be the start to an excellent story arch. It is no small feat to combine years worth of character development and story into a new start in a new medium for a new Doctor, but Morrison and Taylor have delivered to the highest extent.
Look for Twelve and Clara (and the TARDIS of course) on October 15, and stay tuned for the continuation of their intergalactic story.