I will never stop loving the way Titan’s Eleventh Doctor comics use the character of Jones to reference the chameleon-like career of David Bowie. If this sounds like a strange place to start a review of Eleventh Doctor #12, it’s only because you haven’t seen the first page yet, a spread of the Doctor and a newly-ginger Jones racing along the top of the Berlin Wall on a motorbike. It’s a nice little nod to Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy (Low, Heroes, and Lodger) from the late 70s, and the “inside joke” of it made this Bowie fan happy. And that was only the start of a great issue.
The Doctor and his companions (Jones, Alice, and ARC) are still on the trail of the “Entity,” the cosmic shape-shifting body to ARC’s brain, and it’s not an easy task. The Entity still has not forgiven the Doctor for what he did while CEO of SERVEYOUinc, and the Doctor hasn’t forgiven himself either. Which brings us to the mad dash down the Berlin Wall as Jones and the Doctor track the Entity through a wormhole. But if the East German guards pursuing them on the Wall weren’t tough, suddenly appearing in space in the path of a comet is going to give them a bit of trouble.
I’ll stop there so as not to spoil, but I really loved the pacing of this issue. It had the traditional Doctor Who “big opener” before the title page, the jump from the frying pan into the fire, a huge leap in time, and just when you think the crisis might be averted and our TARDIS crew might be okay, there’s a really good cliffhanger with a magnificent final page reveal. Let’s just say some familiar baddies are going to be appearing in the next issue. All I can say is that Rob Williams must have had fun writing this one, and maybe he should write a few episodes of Season 9 for the television show, because I’d have fun watching that. The wide-ranging script really gave artist Warren Pleece a lot to work with and he more than answered the challenges of drawing thousands of years of time and space.
Favorite moments from this issue include ARC’s talk with the Doctor about what he’s learned, “ARC cuddle,” and of course, the Berlin sequence. I enjoyed that Jones wasn’t acting like an idiot for most of the story, and have hopes that he’s growing into his Bowie potential. Finally. This issue was a little lighter on Alice’s perspective than I’ve come to expect, but that was okay because we’ve had a detailed exploration of her in past issues and this one allowed the other Companions to shine. And there was a lovely moment with a smaller character when the comet is approaching Earth that shows just how much thought Williams puts into his total script. It was really well done and thoroughly Doctor Who to let a “bit” player shine like that.
I think this might have been my favorite issue of the Eleventh Doctor adventures so
far. I give it 5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #12
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Warren Pleece
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Humor Strip: Marc Ellerby
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: May 20, 2015