By Robbie Morrison, Dave Taylor & HiFi w/ Alice X. Zhang
Doctor Who’s eighth season has been consistently putting out some high quality drama. It may not be to the tastes of all viewers, particularly those who aren’t big fans of Clara Oswald, but for this reviewer at least, Season 8 has been one of the strongest since the revival in 2005. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but it has certainly been the most consistent to date with not a weak episode amongst the nine that we’ve had so far. It has also featured one of the strongest Doctors yet, or at least the strongest since Christopher Eccleston, in the form of Peter Capaldi, and with the acquisition of Doctor Who comics from IDW, Titan books have launched a brand new ongoing featuring the Twelfth Doctor himself. Whilst this reviewer hasn’t yet gotten around to reading the series focusing on the Eleventh and the Tenth, The Twelfth Doctor has certainly got off to a promising start and should be interesting to follow going forward, especially with the advantage of an unlimited budget in terms of storytelling, meaning that the creators aren’t held back.
The issue itself opens with the Doctor taking Clara in a ski suit through the TARDIS to supervise a Ski trip with Danny Pink, after a brief opener in the traditional, pre-credits style of Doctor Who, which establishes the threat quite well. All too predictably however, the TARDIS doesn’t quite take the characters to their intended destination, meaning that both Doctor and companion find themselves on a scorching-hot tropical jungle, and everything sort of progresses from there.
Dave Taylor’s artwork is mostly strong, with some great scenery work done, but there are a few problems. Sometimes, the characters drawn here don’t look exactly like the actors from the show, which is a shame and is kind of an important thing when it comes to tie-in comics. However, Taylor has plenty of time to improve, so it should be interesting to see how his artwork develops. HiFi’s colours are as impressive as ever, creating something that’s suitably atmospheric for a world covered in jungle.
The characters are handled strongly and the Doctor and Clara are both recognisable with their TV counterparts. One of the best moments of dialogue came where the Doctor was putting down another character, and you could practically read that in Capaldi’s voice.
In conclusion, the plot is handled well, and the mystery is introduced fairly quickly. It feels like an episode of the television series except without any budget constraints in terms of special effects, and it does what it’s meant to for a first issue, draw you in and keep you there. It’s also worth noting quickly just how good the cover art is, as Alice X. Zhang knocks it out of the park, which is really an added bonus when you consider that this issue is mostly a success despite the negative elements that this reviewer has mentioned.