The Ninth Doctor is back with a bang! Following a successful five-part mini-series last year, Titan Comics and writer Cavan Scott have brought Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor back into the world of comics, and this time he’s got his very own ongoing series. The burning question is though: does this first issue justify starting an all-new run?
To a cut a long story short… yes! The comic opens right in the middle of the action, with The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack fleeing for their lives from an oversized monster. It’s an introduction that may serve little to the overarching plot but it’s the perfect way to throw you back into the mix and get you hooked from the get-go. Upon reaching the TARDIS, the trio pick up a mysterious S.O.S. message from a past version of Captain Jack, sent before his memory as a Time Agent was wiped away. Determined to find out what is going on, they set course for the message’s time and place of origin… only to find themselves in a world where The Doctor is hailed as a celebrity!
This is the story’s primary hook, and it’s a rare opportunity to see The Doctor garnering the same attention and love in his fictional world as he does in our reality. In fact, things are even more meta than you might expect – The Doctor is allegedly the star of a show called Doctor Who (yes, really – and they totally forgot the question mark), he has a companion called Penny, and he fights off second-rate Dalek knock-offs known as the Chumblies (complete with catchphrase: “obliterate!”). Oh, and he sings too, apparently. Some may find it a little too on the nose, and it definitely pushes the boundaries when it comes to referencing the fandom in-universe – the Doctor Who fans (sorry, Doctorians) are about as stereotypical as they come, squeeing “OMG” and demanding selfies at every turn. Regardless, it’s fun tongue-in-cheek stuff, and a harmless reflection into what a world where The Doctor was real might be like.
However, of course, The Doctor isn’t really the star of a TV programme, so there’s a mystery afoot to be solved. It’s not long until a Doctor doppelganger appears on the scene to fend off an army of Chumblies, whizzing around in a one-man spacecraft to save the day before flying off to attend a book signing for his autobiography (free tee with every copy!). Just who is this imposter, and why is the real Doctor being accused of identity theft…?
At its core, this is a story that’s both about the fans and for the fans. There are some subtle references for devoted comic book readers hidden among the dialogue, and the final frame serves up an unexpected cliffhanger that fits right in with the rest of The Ninth Doctor’s adventures. Plus, frankly, it’s just nice to have Eccleston’s Time Lord back for another outing – any new stories with him can only be a good thing!
With a tantalising premise and interesting themes, this is an excellent start to the ongoing Ninth Doctor series and we cannot wait to see what Titan Comics have in store for us next time. Fantastic!
- Writer: Cavan Scott
- Artist: Adriana Melo
- Colorist: Matheus Lopes
- Letterer: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt
- Publisher: Titan Comics
- Released: 13th April 2016