Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #12 provides an epic and brilliantly executed conclusion to this Doctor’s first year of comic adventures, as she teams up with old friend the Corsair!
After three fantastic story arcs, Titan Comics‘ Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor series has sadly reached the end of its first year. Across twelve issues, the Doctor, Yaz, Graham, and Ryan have continued their adventures, travelling to the furthest corners of time and space. From its first issue, writer Jody Houser, along with a superb team of artists, colourists, flatters, and letters, have managed to seamlessly translate these characters from screen to page. It’s safe to say this series has been a perfect antidote to any Doctor Who hiatus blues, with the show not set to return to our screens until early next year.
This final arc of the Thirteenth Doctor and friends’ first year of comic-book adventures, ‘Old Friends‘, has seen the Doctor reunited with fellow Time Lord the Corsair. Readers will be forgiven for not immediately remembering who this swashbuckling rogue is. The Corsair was created by none other than Neil Gaiman. They were first mentioned in Gaiman’s 2011 television episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife‘. BlogtorWho‘s review of The Thirteenth Doctor #10 provides a little more background information on this once obscure figure, who has now become a fully-fledged character over the past few issues of this series.
The Doctor and the Corsair’s paths crossed again when the the latter Time Lord turned out to be the true thief who stole the Gem of Niag, a crime the Doctor found herself accused of. The Corsair then roped the reluctant ‘fam’ into assisting with her next robbery, and retrieve another unjustly stolen artefact for her employer.
Issue #11 concluded with a terrifying revelation for the Doctor. After rescuing a Star Whale from a vault on the sky city of Raddplina, the Corsair insists that she and the Doctor deliver it to her employer at once, leaving the rest of the ‘fam’ behind. To make matters worse, the true identity of the Corsair’s employer is revealed to be the Hoarder. Long-time readers of this comic series will no doubt remember this skeletal tyrant from its first story arc, ‘A New Beginning‘.
As Issue #12 opens, things are not looking up for our heroes. The Corsair and the Doctor have been imprisoned by the Hoarder. Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, meanwhile, are still stranded on Raddplina. Their incarceration leads to some excellent banter between the two Time Lords. Indeed, Houser‘s writing is on particularly great form throughout this issue, especially in terms of the dialogue, which is skilfully brought to life by letterer Richard Starkings.
This issue also sees the welcome return of artist Rachael Stott, after having handed over the reins to Roberta Ingranata for the last several issues. It’s been thoroughly enjoyable across this series to see how each of these artists have interpreted both existing and original characters. Whilst Ingranata‘s more abstract style has rapidly grown on me over the past few instalments, Stott‘s ability to capture the Doctor (and others’) wildly expressive faces never fails to impress and amuse this reader.
All in all, Issue #12 provides a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to not only the series’ current story arc, but to its first year as a whole. It sees the triumphant return of several familiar faces, as well as the beginnings of some growth for lone ranger the Corsair. Let’s hope we see some more of this Time Lord when the series returns for its second year!
Whilst Series 12 is still a fairly long way off, Titan Comics‘ Thirteenth Doctor series is fortunately taking a far more brief hiatus for now. The Doctor and friends will return (in comic-book format at least) in November for their first ever Holiday Special, which is sure to provide some much needed Doctor Who-themed festive cheer!