Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #10 introduces us to a very old friend of the Doctor’s, and we learn more about the mysterious Gem of Niag…
In its previous instalment, Titan Comics‘ ongoing Thirteenth Doctor series kicked off its third story arc. ‘Old Friends’ already looks set to be the ‘fam’s most exciting comic-book adventure yet! Issue #9 saw the Doctor arrested on the planet Devivian, and charged with stealing the sacred Gem of Niag. The culprit was said to be a two-hearted being with dark, coiled hair. After escaping, the Doctor and friends were determined to track them down. The Time Lord strongly suspected old frenemy Missy of being the true thief.
However, much to the TARDIS Team’s (and our) surprise, the tech signature they were tracking led them not to Missy, but to another of the Doctor’s old Time Lord friends – The Corsair.
Ooh, She Was a Bad Girl!
You’ll be forgiven for not immediately remembering who exactly the Corsair is. This Time Lord was the subject of a few fleeting references in Neil Gaiman‘s 2011 Doctor Who episode, ‘The Doctor’s Wife‘. Gaiman‘s first television episode is undoubtedly most memorable for briefly placing the TARDIS inside a human body (portrayed by Suranne Jones). The Doctor was finally able to properly speak to their beloved ship for the first time.
But before that, the Eleventh Doctor received a psychic container bearing the Mark of the Corsair, relaying an urgent message. The Doctor had this to say about his old friend:
“Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn’t feel like himself unless he had the tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times. Ooh, she was a bad girl!”
Tragically, as those who’ve seen ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ will know, the Corsair met his end on the intelligent asteroid known as House. His body was recycled to ‘repair’ its patchwork inhabitants Auntie and Uncle. Auntie took the arm bearing his ouroboros tattoo for herself.
Elsewhere, Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2012 saw Neil Gaiman provide fans with a bit more information with ‘Eleven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Corsair’:
ICYMI: The Thirteenth Doctor will be adventuring with The Corsair in the latest story from Titan Comics! Here's "Eleven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Corsair: As divulged by Mr Neil Gaiman" from #DoctorWho: The Brilliant Book 2012. (Sorry it is so hard to read!) pic.twitter.com/pDwQsyL4ql
— Doctor Who Comic Art (@DWComicArt) July 5, 2019
Houser and Co.’s Corsair is Bursting with Life
As Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #10 unfolds, it’s clear that writer Jody Houser and artists Roberta Ingranata and Tracy Bailey have drawn their inspiration heavily from Gaiman‘s writings.
The Corsair comes across as a brilliant cross between River Song and Missy‘s characters, with a dash of her own swashbuckling flair mixed in. She’s a bold, adventurous, drinking, fighting lone ranger. Her look is a fantastic piece of costume design by Ingranata and Bailey. It’s simple, but clearly influenced by that of eighteenth-century pirates, not to mention perfect for cosplaying! If the Corsair’s penchant for pirates wasn’t clear enough, her TARDIS takes the form of a piratical sailing ship. I for one can’t wait to see inside it in a future issue!
As well as getting to know the Corsair, this issue reveals a little more about the sacred Gem of Niag, and just why she stole it. Now, it seems the Corsair needs the Doctor and friends to help her pull off (what Ryan calls) an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist. You’ll have to read the issue yourself to see whether they decide to help her…
‘Old Friends’ Continues to Use its Medium to Brilliant Effect
Following its previous instalment, The Thirteenth Doctor #10 cements this current arc as the series’ most effective use of its comic-book format yet. As an extension of the television series, these comics allow as yet unexplored corners of the Doctor Who universe to come into the spotlight. The series’ creative team have expanded on Gaiman‘s existing material to create their own fully-formed character in the form of the Corsair. I can’t wait to see more of this Time Lord in forthcoming issues!
Roberta Ingranata has already revealed that her design is modelled after actress Julianna Margulies. Knowing this only makes me want to see this incarnation of the Corsair on-screen more! We’ll have to wait until Issue #11 to see where her and the Doctor’s adventures take them next…
For THE CORSAIR's character I found inspiration from a beautiful woman and actress, that I LOVE so much!
She's Julianna Margulies!
— Roberta Ingranata 🏳️🌈 (@Robbertopoli) July 19, 2019