THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Titan Comics tackles The Time War as Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and John Hurt’s War Doctor return for a new adventure. ‘The Organ Grinder’ is part of the Eleventh Doctors ongoing comic book story and the start of a new story arc.
During the run of the television series, the Time War was but a great, intriguing mystery. Doctors 9, 10 and 11 rarely spoke of it, and when they did it was through tears and sour expressions. But in this new story, fans are helped to further understand as to just why that was. Consequently, ‘The Organ Grinder’ leaves little room for laughs. Cue the War Doctor.
Writers Rob Williams and Si Spurrier instantly remind us that the War Doctor abandoned his former title of The Doctor. And when he’s reminded of who he used to be, he announces: “You are wrong, that name is dead and buried”. Immediately established is a harrowing tone with a single, heartbreaking line.
The Time War, just like real war, scrambles and tarnishes identities. How does war affect its warriors? How does war affect bystanders? Titan Comics ask these fundamental and very relevant questions. The War Doctor refers to another character, saying that: “He doesn’t really have a name. That’s wartime for you.” It’s harrowing that something so hauntingly true can translate so vividly all the way from Gallifrey. Additionally, the Daleks occupy a form and manner that even the usual Daleks turn their eye stalks up at.
The Eleventh Doctor is very much absent in this latest adventure. A darker incarnation takes his place and his morality threatens to abandon him. He has become separated from companion Alice who’s life is on the line.
Second, only to these marvellous themes is the artistry. Artist I.N.J Culbard designs magnificent set pieces and dazzling imagery that brings every panel to life. Furthermore, visual spectacle is ever present and contrary to the darker themes of this tale.
In conclusion, Williams and Spurrier do an admirable job of getting inside the characters mindsets and emotions. They are not afraid to expose flaws or self-doubts of characters who are usually full to the brim with confidence. Torture, war and nemesis’ are all featured in ‘The Organ Grinder’.
DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.11
BRAND NEW ARC BEGINS! Alice Obiefune is trapped in the Time War – caged in a time-locked region of space when stars burned, planets died and abominations walked the worlds, wreaking havoc with every unearthly step! She has lost the Doctor she knew, but the WAR DOCTOR has all the answers she seeks – if she can live long enough to reach him!
- Writers: Si Spurrier & Rob Williams
- Artist: Warren Pleece
- Colorist: Hi-Fi
- Letterer: Comicraft
- Cover A: Dan Boultwood
- Cover B: Photo Subscription – Will Brooks
- Cover C: Steve Dillon
- Cover D: Simon Myers