THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The chase is on! The third and final part of Doctormania has arrived, and it’s a conclusion that’s as tense and as epic as you’d expect. Things pick up right where the last issue left off – having unmasked the Slitheen for who they truly are, Rose Tyler has accidentally landed herself slap bang in the middle of a Raxas civil war. Hunted down by the Jinglatheen, Rose and her Slitheen kidnapper Slist are forced to go on the run in this terrific tale which blurs the line between friends and foes.
The majority of the action takes place in the midst of a forest, with Rose and Slist constantly being pursued by their assailants. Compared to the fairly light-hearted tone of the first Doctormania issue, this climax offers a sharp shift in tone – things quite quickly get very dark and very heavy. The sense of danger is genuine, complete with some appropriately horrifying imagery, and you begin to wonder if everyone will make it to the end of the story in one piece. It’s actually left to the Ninth Doctor himself to serve as the primary source of comic relief, and while it’s a role his sterner character rarely seems to take on, he achieves it with gusto as he fires off wit and mischief in the face of adversity. As the story progresses there’s some clever twists and everything that’s been set up over the course of the last three issues pays off nicely here, with the true villain of the piece revealed (and subsequently thwarted) in a neat and satisfying manner.
While some may find this issue’s change in tone a bit jarring – there’s certainly no self-referential humour or modern day satire this time around – it actually works to the story’s overall benefit. The sheer variety that the Doctormania arc has offered over these three issues alone, from a whole new level of meta-humour to tackling identity theft and finally a thrilling inter-species conflict, is perfectly reminiscent of the main television series itself. While the three parts may not naturally fit together as a cohesive whole, the different approaches give each chapter its own distinctive feel and keeps every issue feeling fresh. Let’s hope this level of innovation continues to fuel the rest of the ongoing Ninth Doctor comic series.
The end of Doctormania doesn’t mean the end of the adventure though – while a lot of the loose ends are tied up, not every question from the story arc is answered and there are plenty of threads that are still left hanging come the final panel of the issue. Indeed, this story closes with a very tantalisingly cliffhanger that’s sure to have fans rushing back into comic book stores next month – we won’t say what, but it potentially holds ramifications that are hugely exciting for the TARDIS team, both past and future…
In summary then, this latest issue in Titan Comics’ Ninth Doctor series is another resounding success. A story of morals, deceit, and redemption, it brings some engaging and climactic closure to one of the most unique and varied stories from the expanded Doctor Who media. In fact, the only real concern is whether or not they can keep up the same high quality for the next set of issues – but if this is anything to go by, we have nothing to worry about!
DOCTOR WHO: THE NINTH DOCTOR #3
- Writer: Cavan Scott
- Artist: Adriana Melo
- Colorist: Mateus Lopes
- Letterer: Comicraft
FC – 32PP – $3.99 – On Sale: June 29th