The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham continue their adventures through ‘hidden human history’ in the latest instalment of Titan Comics‘ Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor series!
The previous issue saw the beginning of a brand-new story arc, as the Thirteenth Doctor and friends continue their comic adventures. Issue #5 saw the ‘fam’ arrive in the scenic northern European countryside of the early sixteenth century. However, there wasn’t much time for them to admire the scenery (as beautifully illustrated by Rachael Stott, Enrica Eren Angiolini, and Tracy Bailey), as Team TARDIS found themselves in the midst of the Guelders Wars.
Fortunately, much to the Doctor’s surprise, her friends were already clued up thanks to popular podcast ‘Hidden Human History’. Despite the help of their favourite podcast (which the Doctor is definitely not jealous of), our heroes were horrified upon encountering the ‘demons’ terrorizing a nearby village. These creatures were revealed to be the grotesque and bloodthirsty Stilean Flesh Eaters, who swiftly set their sights on the Doctor as their next meal!
Attack of the Stilean Flesh Eaters
As luck would have it, the Doctor emerges largely unscathed from her encounter with the Stilean Flesh Eaters. Sadly, her coat does not! However, it’s not long before she and her friends find themselves running for their lives from these creatures! This allows us to get a proper look at just how hideous the Stilean Flesh Eaters really are. These creatures undoubtedly have the potential to be an incredible on-screen adversary. Nevertheless, I’m almost certain I’d have to watch that story from safely behind my sofa!
Characteristically of this incarnation, the Doctor takes a far more sympathetic view of them. ‘They can’t help how they were made,’ she tells her friends. However, there’s just something about their Demogorgon-esque mouths and sinister dialogue you can almost hear that is sure to make any reader’s skin crawl. Their effectiveness is thanks in large part to the talents of Roberta Ingranata, who has taken over from regular artist Rachael Stott for this issue. As much as I adore Stott‘s rendering of the Doctor and her companions, it’s refreshing to see them reimagined in Ingranata‘s style.
Soon enough, the Doctor, Yaz, Graham, and Ryan find themselves surrounded. Fortunately, new friend and local villager Magda comes to their rescue! She rings the village bell, alerting the surrounding area to the Stilean Flesh Eaters’ presence, ultimately forcing them to flee.
The mid-point of this issue therefore sees the story take a surprising turn. With the Stilean Flesh Eaters dealt with, and Magda’s decision to stick around and help her village, the TARDIS team move on to pastures new.
Another Time, Another Place, Another Piece of ‘Hidden Human History’
Another surprise comes as the Doctor and friends find themselves in the midst of another conflict. Coincidentally or not, the TARDIS has taken them to early eighteenth-century North Carolina. Graham immediately recognises this as the site of Cary’s Rebellion – the subject of yet another episode of ‘Hidden Human History’. This leads to a more in-depth discussion about the podcast. The Doctor asks of the host, ‘her name isn’t Smith, is it?’ in another touching nod to a past companion after last issue’s callback to Donna Noble. Sadly, we’re none the wiser as to the true identity of the podcast’s presenter, save for her name – ‘Bethany Brunwine’.
As Team TARDIS explore their new surroundings, they come across an elderly woman who has clearly fallen prey to another horde of Stilean Flesh Eaters. Before they can investigate further, a rather familiar-looking portal appears…
This cliffhanger rounds off an issue full of twists and turns, setting this story arc up to be even more unpredictable than the last. Jody Houser is certainly keeping us on ours toes, and I’m sure she has even more surprises up her sleeves as this chapter of the Thirteenth Doctor’s comic adventures continues!
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #6 is available from all good comic retailers from Wednesday 10th April.
Check out the three variant covers available for this issue below, featuring artwork from Giorgia Sposito, Will Brooks, and Iolanda Zanfardino!