March 5, 2008

The Doctor In Print

Although I enjoyed the Doctor's adventures on television, my first real exposure to the character came in Marvel Premiere # 57, which launched a tale (drawn by some guy who never worked in comics again) about the Doctor in an alternate-world Roman empire. The Iron Legion tale is extremely impressive - so much so that, throughout high school, I had an exclusive subscription to Doctor Who Weekly, which provided a consistent flood of Doctor Who comics. So, of course, I was looking forward to IDW's new "official" Doctor Who comic.

Unfortunately, at best, this is an OK comic. It's not too terrible...but also not too excellent either. It's a good, done-in-one issue.

The first two or three pages are an excellent summary of the premise of the program...but the tale itself is really not all that impressive. Even the premise - a "collector" of last-of-their-kind species - is a staple of science fiction. It's a shame to see Gary Russell - who last oversaw Doctor Who on audio - do such a pedestrian job. (And I'm not a big fan of his writing anyway - it tends to be a little too fannish - but I was open to seeing what he could do in the comics realm.) It seems to hedge its bets - various factors are supposed to appeal to, in no particular order, children, fans of the show, potential new viewers, comic book readers, and others. The truth is that the story is too much of a hodgepodge to really engage anyone.

Nick Roche's art - personally, I'm not a big fan of the Japanese/animated style of art. It's good, don't get me wrong - but it's not something I would seek out. Consider it more a matter of taste on my part than quality on Mr. Roche's. It doesn't quite "fit" the material...but then again, it could just be me.

Personally, if you want to learn more about the Doctor, your money is best spent renting or Netflixing one of the many DVDs that are available. Or, if you must enjoy the Doctor in comic form, hunt down IDW's Doctor Who Classics, which is reprinting - ironically enough - the Iron Legion tale. At the very least, you'll read a crackling good story with Iron Legion, and see what Gibbons did before learning that Rorschach was more than a psychological inventory.

Not recommended.

1 comment:

Chuck Moore said...

Thanks for the review! I've been meaning to get around to reading this, but the cover just didn't look all that promising. Just not my style of art.

You're review doesn't put me off it completely, but it does make me feel much more comfortable moving it to a lower position in the old read pile.