Titan Comics’ brand-new Thirteenth Doctor series gets off to a brilliant start, as the Doctor and her friends set off on their first comic adventure…
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #1 marks the beginning of the highly anticipated Thirteenth Doctor series from Titan Comics. It has been a long wait as this series was first announced back in February. In the run-up to this new series, Titan have released a three-part series entitled ‘The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor‘. Each issue featured a one-off adventure starring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors respectively. Additionally, a prequel issue entitled ‘The Many Lives of Doctor Who‘ was released back in September. This saw the Doctor relieve memories of all her previous incarnations in the moments just after she regenerated in ‘Twice Upon a Time’.
Now, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! We finally get to see the Thirteenth Doctor and friends in action in comic book form. Before we get to the actual story, brief descriptions are provided for each character in the front of the issue. I particularly loved the Doctor being described as ‘a live wire, full of energy and fizzing with excitement and wit’.
Time-Travelling Thieves and A Mysterious Portal
In this first issue, writer Jody Houser begins to set the scene for the Thirteenth Doctor and company’s first comic serial. We’re introduced to time-travelling scientists-turned-thieves Perkins and Doctor Schulz. We see them stealing some valuable artwork from a gallery in 1899. It transpires that they work for an enormous, skeletal, treasure-hungry tyrant in return for some kind of medicine for Schulz.
After much speculation, we find out that it’s Perkins who has been reaching out to the Doctor through the portal encountered by her previous incarnations seen in ‘The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor‘. Interestingly, it seems he’s been sent through this portal by a sabotaged vortex manipulator. This marks the second time the Thirteenth Doctor has encountered these devices thus far. As fans will recall she smashed Krasko’s vortex manipulator a couple of weeks ago in ‘Rosa‘. Is this just a coincidence? Or does this foreshadow these devices, and by extension the Time Agency becoming an important part of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story later on? Maybe even old friend Captain Jack Harkness?
Stott and Angiolini’s Incredible Artwork Brings This Story to Life
What makes this first issue really shine is the seamless translation of the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham from screen to page. Rachael Stott and Enrica Eren Angiolini’s artwork, in conjunction with Jody Houser‘s writing, perfectly capture each of these characters’ likenesses and mannerisms. Every panel in this issue is breathtaking, thanks to Angiolini‘s vibrant colours and Stott‘s incredible attention to detail. The talent of this creative team shines through particularly strongly in their rendering of the new TARDIS control room. Somehow it appears even more beautiful and ethereal than it does on screen. We see that the new console features a twenty-sided die, which more geeky readers such as myself will recognise as being used in games of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a small detail that brilliantly captures the Thirteenth Doctor’s wonderful nerdiness.
After rescuing Perkins from the portal, our heroes find themselves surrounded by the strange Grand Army of the Just. Who are they? What do they want with the Doctor and her friends? We’ll have to wait until the next issue to find out…