Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Colorist: Warnia K. Sahadewa
Release Date: 31st August 2022
It’s difficult to imagine that many bibliophiles perusing the fourth and final issue of Titan’s Doctor Who: Origins would agree with the fan website DC Comics News that this book “is the perfect comic for all Doctor Who fans, old or new” considering that Jody Houser’s narrative a seriously sedentary affair. Sure, the publication’s plot does contain a moment of movement when the Gallifreyian gets all “timey wimey” and ferries her people’s numerous renegade colonists into the TARDIS in an act similar to the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark. But even this sequence hardly exudes much tension as each planet’s inhabitants calmly walk to safety inside the Police Box, courtesy of a textless, two-page long montage proficiently pencilled by Roberta Ingranata.
Similarly as unconvincing is the notion that each settlement’s supposed total destruction was allowed to happen by the titular character even though she knew she could stop her opponent at any moment with a second Division strike team. Such a callous disregard for life seems particularly perverse when the Doctor only calls in her heavily gunned ‘back up’ squad when it appears that the Time Lord’s opponent is finally about to kill her; “I hope you got what you needed, because I’m really not in the mood to regenerate today.” Up until this point, Houser would have her audience believe that the clandestine agency’s operative was covertly gathering testimony and evidence against her overly talkative foe, even though its debatably clear such a threshold was achieved just as soon as the fiend revealed he already had explosives planted upon all the civilisations he wanted to eradicate.
Perhaps this comic’s biggest disappointment though is just how wholly impotent the Fugitive Doctor appears to be throughout its conclusion. Having stood by and witnessed mass-murder on a multi-planetary scale simply so she can make a case against a rogue member of the council, it seems clear that the short-fused time traveller was simply going to then set-off on another mission until the highly disagreeable Taslo provides her with the spatial co-ordinates needed to go back and rescue each world’s inhabitants. Just why the Division’s top agent didn’t consider such a solution herself is baffling, as is Houser’s unpersuasive notion that even if she had done, she’d still need the mathematical skills of her treacherous one-time assistant to work out the calculations.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]