Hot on the heels of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, the third in Titan Comics’ Doctor Who collections is the first to feature the Twelfth Doctor. It’s also the first to feature a TV companion – Clara Oswald. And the first to have direct rivals – Panini publishes it’s own Twelfth Doctor comic strips in Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Adventures.
The advantage of not having to introduce a new companion is that we get to jump straight into Robbie Morrison’s story. As you might expect, there is the assumption that the reader has a passing knowledge of who the main players are, after all it’s unlikely anyone would be reading this without being a fan of the TV show. Pleasingly you can hear the actors saying the lines, although just occasionally our heroes seem to have a little too much dialogue – just how long will the baddies wait while the Doctor natters away or is that part of the plan?!
Two stories make up the five chapters, taking the Doctor and Clara from Outer Space and back again to Earth, jumping around in time as well just for good measure. They meet alien super entities and Indian Goddesses along the way, and Clara undergoes an incredible, though sadly temporary, transformation. Morrison creates believable and interesting characters and cultures, that fit seamlessly into the current TV show era. The alien world being created in lead story Terrorforming has plenty of aliens – but they’re not that far removed from humans. The Indian characters in the second story might be (mostly) from the 24th Century, but of course they have the same good and evil traits we would expect and recognise.
There’s some lovely artwork from Dave Taylor (with Mariano Laclaustra). Taylor’s strengths are in the weird and wonderful worlds he creates, and while later chapters lose some of the details compared to the early pages, his imagination certainly doesn’t. Likenesses are clear without needing to be spot on, and his enjoyment of the worlds he’s creating is infectious. Unfortunately as the art gets a little less detailed, the colourist gets a little heavy-handed, but that’s a minor niggle.
All in all this is an enjoyable and fun first volume.