I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since Christmas already. With the chaos of the holidays, I’m ashamed to say that Issue #6 of the Eleventh Doctor Adventures totally slipped past me. I started reading it a couple of times, but this is not your standard veg-out comic, so I kept putting it aside until the insanity that is my life during the holidays abated.
Issue #6 requires a lot of thought from its reader (in a good way). Yes, it’s a tale told in reverse, but the reality is not quite as simple as that would imply. This is not a comic that you can simply read backward one pane at a time. Instead, Rob Williams has added a new idea to the grand Who tradition of timey-wimeyness by crafting a tale that moves backwards one page at a time. This means that you get an average of six panels to figure out what the heck is going on before time jumps backwards again. And for the first few pages until the Doctor (and thus the reader) figures this out, you’re going to be scratching your head a bit.
The issue begins with Alice and the Doctor talking about Jones’s death, and “The End” is written prominently at the bottom of the page, so you know you’re in for some twists and turns. Not all of the twists make total sense—telling Alice that she’s going to be fine because the Doctor has seen the future already is in conflict with the Who convention that no future is established. If you can die before you were born, then it stands to reason that you could die as circumstances in your past change. And I’m still not exactly sure what the “Secondary Backwards Consciousness” the Doctor uses is. But I’m not the type of fan who dissects plot holes, nor do I let a few minor issues ruin my overall enjoyment of a good tale, which is what this is. It reminded me of the season 8 episode “Time Heist,” and if you were a fan of that one, I think you’ll enjoy this as well.
Williams balances out the seriousness of what is essentially a hostage situation with some well-placed humor, slapstick included. (My favorites were Dave the geranium and the insanity of page 3.) I’m also glad that he’s kept ARC hanging around the TARDIS, since it’s past time the Doctor had a non-human companion for more than a single episode or issue. Simon Fraser’s drawings add to the fun—after several issues playing up Jones’s patterning off of David Bowie, it was a treat to see him tricked out in the style of Ziggy Stardust. Aside from the minor time-travel issues I mentioned above, issue #6 is a good ‘un, and you’ll want to pick it up if you haven’t already. 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
DOCTOR WHO: NEW ADVENTURES WITH THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #6
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Fraser
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Colorist: Gary Caldwell
Cover Artists: Verity Glass and AJ
Humor Strip: Marc Ellerby
Release Date: December 24, 2014