Publisher: Titan Comics
Story: George Mann
Art: Emma Vieceli
Release Date: 13th January, 2016
Magicians are creepy. I may be tainted by a particularly strange encounter with (the not-quite-a-magician) Derren Brown, but after reading the latest outing of the Eighth Doctor, I stand by my statement. Never trust someone with a curled moustache and a top hat.
After ticking off Lumin’s World from the Doctor’s list in issue 2, the Doctor and Josie travel to Victorian-era Edinburgh to check out Philippot’s Magesterial Delights. The show features a particularly neat trick of allowing people to pass through one mirror and appear out of another. Even if the participants didn’t appear odd after their trip, I’m sure the Doctor wouldn’t have been able to resist a closer look! What they find is…well…I’ll leave you to discover that for yourself.
What I will say is that funnily enough, the by-products of this act are as creepy as the magician himself. I won’t ruin the moment for you, but I physically recoiled. Who’s presented some strange creatures in its time, but for me, this issue will have a special place under my mental category for ‘weird s***’. Even the bubblegum colouring of the series doesn’t make ‘them’ easier to swallow! As a complete aside, I do love the pastels featured by Hi-Fi. I believe it’s neatly reflective of both the Doctor’s personality and the tone of the series so far.
As with the prior issues, the story is self-contained and easy to dip into. Our baddie of the week is introduced, engaged and dispatched by the final panel. However, with a brief appearance of the Spherions in this issue, I do wonder whether Mann has a secret agenda at play. The list the Doctor found in ‘Jane Eyre’ may be entirely random, but I do like an overarching plotline and it would be nice to see Mann tie up all these seemingly independent events.
It’d also be interesting to see him delve a little deeper under the hood of Eight or explore a particular topic over a few issues rather than one. Deliberate or not, Mann’s tackling some interesting themes with the series. This issue, we’re presented with the idea of our alternate selves and the impact certain events can have on who we are or how our lives play out. I’d love to see what he could do with an extended story arc.
Overall, the issue is enjoyable. Arguably I’d have preferred this particular story to be dealt with over a couple of issues, as there’s a few plot points skimmed over that I think would have been interesting to explore. However, it’s a solid entry to the series and still worth a look-in if you happen to come by it.
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The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.