In anticipation of the season 8 finale of Doctor Who, I’ve binged on anything Who I could find. (Side note: this is why I would suck if a famine were coming: I wouldn’t save food for the hard times, I would probably just eat it all at once and then complain about feeling full.) This week, that means I’m reading up on all of Titan’s Doctor Who comics that I have missed. You can catch my review of the latest Tenth Doctor comic here, and now I’m going to take you through the latest Eleventh Doctor comic, which came out about a week and a half ago. This one falls firmly under “In Case You Missed It,” because I enjoyed the hell out of it and think the other Whovians out there will, too.
Considering that I was never a huge fan of the Eleventh Doctor (he was a little too “drunken five year old giraffe” for me), it came as a surprise to me that I like this series as much as I do. I think a good part of it has to do with the Doctor’s companions for this series, Alice Obiefune (a former library assistant who reminds me a lot of Donna Noble in her ability to call the Doctor on his BS) and Jones (obviously patterned on David Bowie, Jones is destined to be one of the world’s greatest rock stars but his talent at this point in time is fading into the background). No one is flirting with the Doctor in this lineup, nor are they flirting with each other. It’s more like roommates on the TARDIS, only Alice isn’t sure she can keep on running forever—her late mother taught her to face her problems, not run from them. Eleven is the Doctor who runs to forget, so that sets up an interesting dynamic for them all.
The big bad for this series is the seemingly omnipresent SERVEYOUinc, whom Alice and the Doctor have run into in a number of times and places. When they land on a space base, surprise, there’s SERVEYOUinc and their heavy, August Hart, once again. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t spoil you, but there are some possible time paradoxes and a sort-of murder mystery thrown in for good measure.
Issue #4 brings a new creative team to the Eleventh Doctor’s adventures, and they keep up the pace set by Rob Williams and Simon Fraser in the first three issues. Al Ewing’s writing is sharp and snappy, keeping a good balance between the Doctor and his companions (this one is neither Doctor lite nor companion lite), and the storyline keeps moving. Like a Moffat arc, I’m not entirely sure where it’s going, but I’m engaged enough by the character dynamics and the evolving story that I’ll keep reading. Boo Cook does an excellent job of portraying Eleven (right down to his lack of eyebrows), and I loved the flashback sequences of young Alice and her mother, done in sepia tones to show the passage of time (also, Boo, way to go with the Easter eggs in the backgrounds throughout the issue: a W. Hartnell grave in the cemetery, “Major Tom” pies in the canteen of the base—brilliant).
The strength of this issue for me is the character relationships more than the storyline so far, but that’s just because I’m not sure where it’s going yet. Also, we all know that I love me some good character relationships, so this is in no way, shape, or form a dis to the storyline—characters are just what I groove on. Issue #4 of the Eleventh Doctor Adventures is a really fun read and I’m giving it 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
DOCTOR WHO: NEW ADVENTURES WITH THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #4
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Boo Cook
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover Artists: Verity Glass and AJ
Humor Strip: Marc Ellerby
Release Date: October 29, 2014