“The Swords of Kali” story arc of the Twelfth Doctor Adventures started out with a bang and has been getting better with each issue (see my reviews of issues #3 and #4 if you don’t believe me). When Robbie Morrison told me that the “budget” on issue #5 was going to get even bigger, I knew we were in for an epic treat. With action happening in space and on Earth, alien possession of a Companion, and a sword-fighting Doctor, it met and then wildly exceeded my expectations.
More than the epic locations (including a continent sized satellite with biosphere orbiting Earth), for me the best part of this arc has been the relationship that Robbie Morrison has created for the Doctor and his Companions. Rani and Priyanka have turned out to be strong characters in their own right, amazingly well developed after only a few issues. Because they are, they’re able to believably act on their own, piloting space ships and attacking Kaliratha while the Doctor focuses on defeating Kali and freeing Clara. The added bonus to this, of course, is that we get to spend a little time focusing on the Doctor and Clara’s relationship and the Whouffaldian in me rejoiced to see the Doctor telling Kali “All the evil in the universe couldn’t overcome that Impossible Girl.” That’s one of the things I love about the Twelfth Doctor and Clara: no matter the situation, she’s never a damsel in distress. Yes, she may be in a tight spot, but she’s a strong woman and he always acknowledges it.
The artwork and colors are vivid and snapping, culminating in two gorgeous pages that take place during Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), and an appearance by my favorite holey jumper is the icing on the cake made by Dave Taylor and Luis Guerrero. The great writing and art combine to make this issue my favorite of the story arc. I think my only disappointment was that Rani Jhulka didn’t turn out to be connected to The Rani, and that is a small quibble with the story indeed. I’ll give this issue 5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
DOCTOR WHO: THE TWELFTH DOCTOR #5
Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Dave Taylor
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Humor Strip: Colin Bell and Neil Slorance
Cover Artists: Alice X. Zhang
Release Date: February 25, 2015