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Friday, July 25, 2014

My Week in Comics: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1


Titan Comics recently acquired the Doctor Who license from IDW Publishing, and they lost no time taking advantage it with not just one but two comic book releases starring two fan-favorite Doctors: namely, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors! Since Eleven is my Doctor, I chose to pick up his title, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1, where Eleven teams up with a down-on-her-luck library assistant to hunt down a giant alien dog running around London that feeds off of negative emotions!

Writers Al Ewing and Rob Williams spin a pretty straightforward adventure yarn that tread on some familiar Doctah-meets-companion territory, but it makes up for it with some touching drama. Eleven takes a break from catching the alien dog because he noticed that Alice Obiefune (the aforementioned library assistant) is having a really bad day, and what follows is a heartwarming moment that fits the Eleventh Doctor's character really well. Eleven is the type that would want to cheer everyone up (see The Christmas Carol), and it's nostalgic to see him do so here. When the alien dog's hunger for bad vibes brings it to the House of Commons (hah!), it will take the Doctor's wits and Alice's courage to save the day, and exactly how they do will tug at a heartstring or two, I guarantee it!

The art is great. Comic books based on real people have their work cut out for them, and I do admit I wasn't feeling Simon Fraser's art style at first, especially his rendition of Matt Smith as Eleven (and I don't blame him. Matt's look is pretty unique). But Fraser's strength lies in giving both action and drama the amount of energy they need to pop off the page, and he does capture Matt Smith's slapstick and physical humor to a tee. When a comic book makes you miss Matt's turn as the Doctor, you know it's good! There are also two back-up comics after the main story, a funny and cute story made by using Titan's vinyl Mini-Figures (brilliant use of merchandising!) and a cute and funny Pond Life-style one-pager starring the Ponds (with River Song!) written and drawn by Marc Ellerby that gives you a bit more bang for your buck. More of those types of extras, please.

With a fun premise and the promise of an interesting story arc, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 is a fantastic comic that captures the spirit of the show and its star quite well, and is the better book of Titan Comics' Doctor Who releases. Fans craving for more of Eleven's adventures would do well to pick this up. This gets a 4 out of 5.

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