Review & Spoilers: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2 By Robbie Morrison & Dave Taylor

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2

Written by: Robbie Morrison
Art by: Dave Taylor
Cover by: The Coal Hill Gang
Colored by: Hi-Fi with Dave Taylor
Lettered by: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt

Published by: Titan
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts off with a quick origin of Hyperios.  He’s from a race of sentient suns.  They were peaceful and benevolent, looking to spread enlightenment around the universe.  But at some point in their evolution, the race ended up on the verge of supernova.  They ended up attacking the very races they had enlightened in an attempt to stabilize their bodies,  The Time Lords had to step in and led armies to combat them.  Hyperios managed to survive, but ended up locked in a status bubble on this planet.  The terraforming activity woke him up.

The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver on a coolant tank to distract Hyperios.  Hyperios sends a robot to attack them, and Clara is able to fight it off using her ski pole.

Meanwhile, instead of evacuating the planet, Kano Dollar continues his plans to get married to Thanna, Warrior-Princess.  The Doctor interrupts the wedding, and soon after, Hyperios arrives.  Kano tries to get out of there on his private ship, but Thanna shoots him down.  Hyperios brings down the tower the Doctor and his allies are hiding inside, but the tower is equipped with “air bags” that keep them all safe.

The Doctor is able to distract Hyperios long enough to put a plan in place, managing to use the planet’s terraforming technology to put Hyperios in a deep freeze.  The Doctor and Clara head off.  Kano is stranded in the jungles he built…and attacked by the monkey creatures there.

In the epilogue, we find out that in the year 2114 AD, Hyperios would show up again, this time on Neptune.  To Be continued.

Review: No Alice X. Zhang cover on this issue? BOO! That said, I did like the cover anyway. I was also amused that whoever did it called themselves “the Coal Hill Gang” (Clara teaches at Coal Hill School…which has a major role in Doctor Who history). Nice little insider joke there.

When you are creating a licensed comic, the challenge to me has always been proving that this comic is actually necessary and not just a cash grab. It’s even trickier to do it while the original license is still going on. Comics like Charmed and Smallville “cheat” because they are set after the TV series ended. Even the other Doctor Who titles coming out right now shed a light on “lost” stories and companions. So I consider this Twelfth Doctor series to be in a tricky position. It stares the current active Doctor and the current active companion…so, it would be easy for the reader to wonder “why don’t I just watch the TV show instead?” Actually, I get asked that all the time when reading licensed books and comics, “Why don’t you just watch the movie?”

Even with those challenges, I do think that Robbie Morrison has created a good comic, but I am still not sure it’s a neccessary comic. And that creates a bit of a problem for me. I read a lot of comics each month. And with the recently announced “Ninth Doctor” mini-series, that makes 4 Doctor Who titles each month, at $4 a pop. All that said, I still do enjoy this comic quite a bit.

Wow, this is like the most hemming and hawwing I have ever done in a review. I have said this before, but there is nothing worse to review than a comic I kind of liked. When I love a comic, I feel great talking it up. When I hate a comic, I feel great talking it down. When it falls in the middle, I just don’t quite know how to walk that line to make it clear that it’s not a bad comic, but also not a perfect comic.

This comic does a great job getting the characters right. Clara and the Doctor’s relationship feels pretty close to perfect.

Robbie Morrison also tells a really good story. The Hyperios was a pretty cool adversary, even if the Doctor did seem to handle him a little too easily.

Dave Taylor’s art was a little inconsistent on this issue. Most of the settings looked terrific, and the alien creatures really stood out. But there was a few places where the human characters seemed off. Especially the Gothholka Princess (though I did like that the officient looked like Beaker).

These moments were rare in the issue, but when they happened, they were definitely noticeable.

One thing I had pointed out in the last issue that was still a problem here. Sometimes it’s not clear where certain events happen and how exactly they are playing out. There is a scene where it seems like the Doctor is outside…but instead, he’s in a tower, that suddenly is crashing. The whole sequence felt confusing, even when I read it a few times. I also thought the epilouge where Hyperios is rising again…this time on Neptune…. didn’t make a lot of sense. Both of these scenes could have used just a little more exposition to make it clearer to the reader.

All in all, this was a good comic, that probably could have been a great comic. Some small art glitches and some confusing story moments definitely took away from the great characterization and the interesting plot. I always love seeing glimpses into how the loss of the Time Lords effected the universe. I also really liked the opening that introduced Hyperios’ people and what they were all about. A powerful and mostly good race that were driven to bad things because of they own power and desperation. There was definitely a lot I liked about this comic, but not quit enough I loved about it.


Title: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #2
Written By: Robbie Morrison
Art By: Dave Taylor
Company: Titan
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • Real strong characterization
  • A pretty interesting story that sheds some light on the Time Lords
  • Dave Taylor draws terrific settings.
Cons:
  • No Alice X. Zhang cover (though I did like this cover anyway)
  • Some confusing moments that could have used a little more explanation
  • Art was inconsistent in a few small places
Is it worth your $3.99? 7.0/10 –  There really is nothing at all wrong with this comic…but it just falls in the cracks of all the great comics I would rather read.   Worth it if you are a huge fan of the show…but otherwise, wait for it to go on sale on Comixology.

 

 

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