Doom’s Day continues as the deadlier assassin finds herself the target in the set-up for a banter filled battle of wills with Missy
If you’ve been following Doom’s Day from the beginning, you might find yourself seizing on the first issue of Titan Comics’ entry into the multimedia epic as a chance to breath. We began with James Goss’ swift word sketch of the start of Doom’s quest. Then came the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip running Naruto style through four hours of story in 16 pages, at a pace that bordered on the incomprehensible. So it’s refreshing to come to A Doctor in the House. It’s a story with clear signs of having space an actual beginning, middle, and end.
For those walking in late, you may want to walk back out again and consult our guide to Doom’s Day before coming back. But in short: Doom is a time travelling assassin working for the Lesser Order of Oberon. She’s assigned a new hit once an hour, to be completed within an hour. Earlier today one mission went badly wrong and now she has literal, actual, could-do-with-eating-a-sandwich, not-a-lot-of-colour-in-his-wardobe, Death on her tail. And, as of the start of this issue, she has 19 hours left to live. 19 destinations left to visit. 19 people to kill. And 19 chances to find the only person who might be able to save her: the Doctor. Her quest plays out across different media, with Doctor Who Magazine, Titan Comics, Big Finish, BBC Books and more all taking a hand in telling her tale.
Like Villanelle with a vortex manipulator and infinite holograph generated wardrobe, Doom has as much fun as Missy killing people in imaginative ways, making for a fun collision of characters
This instalment comes from familiar Doctor Who comic faces Jody Houser and Roberta Ingranata. Although it covers four assignments across two issues, this first half benefits from having a strong line running through them. We first find Doom in 19th century New York, where her quarry are two alien thieves. However, realizing how dangerous, and valuable, their latest bit of loot is, Doom pockets that too. Unfortunately for her, Missy’s here too, and she has designs of her own on this particular doomsday weapon, no pun intended. It sets up a chase as the Time Lady dogs the assassin’s every step through time in the hopes of reclaiming her prize.
It’s a nicely judged approach that allows the focus to be on Doom and Missy’s battle of wills, so that this feels like the first half of a full story, rather than two tiny ones wedged together. Not that Doom’s individual missions aren’t good fun themselves. Houser’s writing style meshes perfectly with the hitwoman’s murderous impishness. Perfectly understanding the assignment, Houser casts Doom as the answer to the question: “what if Villanelle got her hands on a vortex manipulator?” And at least one of her kills here has the stylishly lethal quality of Killing Eve. Meanwhile Ingranata’s art has the same light playfulness that you’d expect from her.
It’s strange to say, five hours in to Doom’s 24 hour story, but with A Doctor in the House Part One if seems the adventure is finally getting started.
Doctor Who: Doom’s Day #1 is out now and available from all good comic book retailers
Doom’s Day continues in the pages of Doctor Who: Doom’s Day #2 from Titan Comics on the 25th of July