Titan Comics 2014
Written by Al Ewing & Rob Williams
Illustrated by Simon Fraser
Coloured by Gary Caldwell
The Doctor, Alice, Jones and ARC pursued the fleeing Entity back in time. Wrapped around a comet, it crashed to Earth in the middle of a Roman civil war, in 312 AD, where it infected and took control of the Roman soldiers... as well as the Cyberman army that had been hidden aboard the comet. The Doctor defeated both armies by tricking them with a psychic projection, appearing to them as the godlike beings most feared by each one of those under Entity’s control. But as the Entity fled, Jones was taken with it. Now the TARDIS has rejected the Doctor as well... All seems lost.
I’ve not been a huge fan of Matt Smith’s Doctor, at times he’s been entertaining and others he’s been meh but somehow the folks at Titan have managed to keep him interesting and this issue the characterization we get is unlike any I’ve seen from a Doctor and it’s some of the most refreshing stuff to date. Before we get to that however we see Jones in an attic talking to himself about memories and when he puts on that iconic scarf and begins to look like another previous Doctor and then what he ends up doing well it’s spectacular.
Back in Ancient Rome the Doctor is lamenting the behavior of the Tardis. This is one of the rare times that we see the Tardis show it’s personality. We all know it’s alive and sentient butt it’s always worked with the Doctor and his companions but this time around it’s not happy with the Doctor and it’s letting him know it. It’s fan-freakin-tastic to see the dialogue and the raw emotion coming from the Doctor here as he tries to get it all back under control to no avail. For me this is a new and unique twist to things and I tip my hat to Al and Rob for bringing this to us.
Jones well there’s more to him than meets the eye and what happens with him was delightfully unexpected and hopefully sets the stage for further opportunities for him to reappear. I really do like how his story in these pages unfolded and how his interaction with Alice, ARC and the Doctor helped with his transformation and unless I miss my guess Jones and ARC seem to be new team leaving Alice and the Doctor to returning the status quo.
Oh the last page reveal yeah that’s something I can’t wait to see explored more I mean c’mon this is something I think every Who fan has wondered about at some and time and to see it happen keeps this ground breaking series as fresh and exciting as it is.
The interior artwork for me is pretty darn consistent and good but the Doctor’s face at times gets really weird. I know Matt Smith’s face isn’t a traditional one but the exaggerated features at times make this go from a serious tone to Three Stooges comical and that makes slightly unnerved. Honestly it’s just the Doctor too throughout this issue whose visage just seems odd and I’m guessing it’s intentional to draw attention to his distress but for some reason it keeps me from liking the character as much as I could. There are times he looks like the statues on Easter Island so there’s that.
I’m still mightily impressed with how Titan Comics has treated the franchise and produced some of the best Doctor stories in comics to date.