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Review – Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #3 (Titan)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer(s): Cavan Scott
Artist: Adriana Melo, Mateus Lopes (Colours)
Release Date: 29th June 2016


With the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors already well into their second years, it was a tad strange that the Ninth Doctor hadn’t been given a series of his own. He was the “reboot king” after all, even if his tenure was relatively short. Barring the successful ‘Weapons of Past Destruction’, it’s only now that Titan has taken Nine out for a proper spin. And, when you throw two of arguably the most popular companions of the rebooted series into the mix, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot actually, but so far, this ship appears to be in safe hands. The first mini-arc of the series comes to a close in this third issue as the Doctor and Jack track down Rose and Slist in the forests of the planet Clix. Time is of the essence, as they’re being hunted down by the combined might of the Raxas families. Their luck changes, however, as Slist develops a heart of gold (or at least soft-ish iron) and makes way for the real villain of the piece to emerge, as the Raxas clans are betrayed from within. It’s a predictable twist, but a small niggle if you will, in an otherwise engaging final third.

From the beginning, writer Cavan Scott has demonstrated absolutely mastery over the nuances of Nine’s character. Whilst Ten and Eleven tend to blend into the one at times, Nine is distinct and Scott captures him beautifully. Even the simplest of sentences seem to translate into Nine’s voice in my head. Wonderfully, Rose is given equal treatment. It’s only Jack that remains under-developed, but there’s plenty of time yet. With the story tilting back to where we started with the strange message from ‘Past Jack’, the Captain may take centre-stage in the next few books (notwithstanding the familiar face that’s entered the mix in the final panel – fair warning, don’t get too excited about it).

Sadly, in terms of the artwork, I’m not overly fond of Melo’s depiction of the characters. Rose’s appearance in particular bothers me; at points, she’s closer in resemblance to Geri Halliwell than Billie Piper! Happily however, you can’t fault pretty much everything else.

Bizarrely, despite the lack of overall similarity with the actors themselves, Melo still manages to absolutely nail the character’s expressions. Nine’s delighted grin. Rose’s defiant glare. They’re completely on-point. From start to finish, the book is a visual delight; from the action sequences, to the aliens (which, may I say, are particularly spectacular). I only wish the covers were subject to Melo’s treatment, which haven’t been anything to ‘write home about’ as of yet.

Overall, this is a punchy end to an enjoyable first arc. Even if you weren’t a massive fan of Nine (I fall into that category myself), this is a fun series with all the core elements that make the TV series such a delight to watch. This particular series is still in its infancy, so jump on in before you miss out.

Rating: 4/5.


PREVIEW ARTWORK
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The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider


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