Today (Saturday 4th May) marks this year’s Free Comic Book Day! For one day only, fans can pick up exclusive issues from a wide range of comic series, including a special Doctor Who issue, starring the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions.
Every year, the first Saturday in May brings with it Free Comic Book Day. The event has often seen Titan Comics contribute a one-off Doctor Who story – and this year is no exception! An exclusive Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor issue is available to pick up for free today at participating comic retailers worldwide.
This standalone comic adventure has been crafted by the ever-brilliant creative team behind Titan Comics’ ongoing Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor series. Series writer Jody Houser has joined forces with several regular contributors, including artists Giorgia Sposito, Roberta Ingranata, and Valeria Favoccia, as well as colourist Tracy Bailey, and letterers Comicraft‘s John Roshell and Sarah Jacobs.
A Fun Day Out at the Fair!
As regular readers of the Thirteenth Doctor comic series will be aware, the current TARDIS team’s off-screen adventures have been visually stunning, but with largely dark undertones. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham have so far faced up against the Stilean Flesh Eaters, a swarm of faceless, bloodthirsty monsters, and an enormous skeletal tyrant known as ‘The Hoarder’.
Refreshingly, this Free Comic Book Day special issue presents a far more light-hearted outing for the ‘fam’. The Doctor announces that she’s let the TARDIS decide on their destination. Yaz wonders if the TARDIS thinks they’re in need of a holiday, as they’re transported to an brightly-coloured alien theme park! Valeria Favoccia and Tracy Bailey provide a wonderful double-page montage of the Doctor, Ryan, and Yaz thoroughly enjoying themselves – eating candyfloss, riding on roller-coasters, and winning cuddly toys!
Meanwhile, Graham tries his hand at a seemingly more slow-paced ball-throwing game. However, when he fails to win the rigged game, he’s teleported to a mysterious cave filled with other alien beings who have met the same fate. Fortunately, the Doctor quickly comes up with a plan to bring back Graham and everyone else who’s been kidnapped. With the help of Ryan and her trusty sonic screwdriver, she’s able to play the Bevvian at his own game, rigging it to make sure she wins, and ultimately rescuing everyone he’s kidnapped.
Overall, this Free Comic Book Day issue acts as a perfect introduction to the Thirteenth Doctor, Ryan, Yaz, and Graham in comic-book form. It’s fantastically accessible to all readers, no matter whether or not you’ve caught up on the latest series of Doctor Who.
Nevertheless, the Doctor in particular is instantly recognisable as her usual optimistic, name-dropping self, and fiercely protective of her friends. As well as this, we’re treated to some beautiful artwork, with Roberta Ingranata and Valeria Favoccia best capturing our heroes’ likenesses. Ingranata provides an especially epic hero-pose moment which closes the issue in brilliant style.
These are all qualities this special issue shares with Titan Comics‘ current Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor series. However, the issue would have greatly benefited from showcasing the talents of the series’ regular artist Rachael Stott, who delivers (in this reviewer’s opinion) the best portrayal of this TARDIS team on page. In addition, the story’s dilemma is resolved unexpectedly easily, with the Bevvian surprisingly happy to concede and release his prisoners.
Nonetheless, the creative team have delivered a short but sweet story for Free Comic Book Day. Hopefully, readers of this standalone story will be encouraged to pick up another Thirteenth Doctor comic!