Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category
I thought the Alice XZ images on the exclusive S9 steelbook were the same as the images on the 2015 SDCC exclusive comic.
They are not. One gorgeous Capaldi remains out of reach. 😦
SDCC exclusive covers (I have one):
So close, and yet…
It’s crazy how long it’s taken me to share this gem:
Yes, like a true obsessive I went on ebay and finally – finally! – acquired that Alice XZ 2015 SDCC exclusive – along with the 2016 as a bonus! And I didn’t pay an entirely stupid amount of money! (Moderately stupid, maybe, it’s a matter of opinion. Art has value.)
Both are gorgeous, and the stories inside are fun too. The likenesses are among Zhang’s best. She’s improving as an artist, and I think she has a special affinity for this Doctor. Something about his darkness, and his crags and curls, speaks to her special talent.
The only missing piece now is the 2015 companion piece with Clara on the cover. It’s not a priority, as I understand it has the same story inside as the Doctor cover, and given a choice I’d pick this one. Still, I’ll acquire it if I get a chance, as it’s equally gorgeous.
No new covers on the slate for Alice at the moment, but you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye out.
The writers of the Titan Doctor Who series have way too much fun in their job.
(What follows may be considered spoilery for regular comic readers. Proceed with caution.)
I’ve mentioned before I collect Alice XZ covers. I hadn’t been paying attention lately, but when a new comic shop opened in my neighborhood, I glanced online to see what I’d been missing. Turns out there were three new items out with Alice’s covers, one of which was on the shelf: The Twelfth Doctor Year 2, Issue #1
The gorgeous cover is only the first piece of fun I found. #2 occurred on the very first page of the story itself, where the name and face of the character surprised and delighted me:
The likeness is unmistakeably Christel Dee, host of Doctor Who: The Fan Show. (Later the character is given the surname Dean.) I can only imagine Christel’s fangirl delight at being so immortalized.
And there’s more! A few pages later, the Doctor slurps a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster – a drink concocted by former Doctor Who writer and script editor Douglas Adams for his most famous creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – to the ongoing affront of an angry alien, whose name he doesn’t quite recall:
Those are Marvel references: Janet van Dyne, the Wasp – or Hope, her daughter and successor – and Victor von Doom, antagonist of the Fantastic Four. That Marvel once published Doctor Who comics, and that Marvel is the latest landing pad of Doctor David Tennant (via Jessica Jones), are meta bonus.
And the story’s good too. I can’t personally justify buying serial comics, but it’ll be a tough wait for the trade.
The shop owner is ordering for me the two issues he didn’t have in stock: Tenth Doctor Year 2, issue 6, and Eighth Doctor #1:
And still to come: the Fourth Doctor, due next month:
Always so much to look forward to. 🙂
Something else that After Life brought to my attention: the Eleventh Doctor’s kindness.
After their initial brief and chaotic meeting, the Doctor returns to Alice because he thought she looked sad. She is sad, terribly sad; he makes her a cup of tea, and in her words:
“He didn’t make silly remarks, or condescend, or judge, or pity, or act like he was the most important one in the room. He just listened.”
Of the modern Doctors at least, only the Eleventh Doctor ever listened. Only Eleven ever hugged a sobbing companion and offered words of comfort (‘Vincent and the Doctor’). Mostly the Doctor has no time for human feeling; only Eleven ever put aside his own self-importance to make room for another’s grief. It’s a trait he shares with his strongest influence, the Second Doctor.
From ‘Tomb of the Cybermen:’
- Doctor: You miss [your father] very much, don’t you?
Victoria: It’s only when I close my eyes. I can still see him standing there, before those horrible Dalek creatures came to the house. He was a very kind man, I shall never forget him. Never.
Doctor: No, of course you won’t. But, you know, the memory of him won’t always be a sad one.
Victoria: I think it will. You can’t understand, being so ancient… You probably can’t remember your family.
Doctor: Oh yes, I can when I want to. And that’s the point, really. I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they… they sleep in my mind and I forget. And so will you. Oh yes, you will. You’ll find there’s so much else to think about. To remember. Our lives are different to anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing, that nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.
No wonder Twelve was such a shock.
Last night I read the Eleventh Doctor’s first volume of collected comics, After Life. In it he picks up companion Alice Obiefune, whose life has fallen apart, and together they have some very Doctory adventures.
I’ve read the first installment of this book, the first issue of Eleven’s run, three times now, and it just keeps getting better.
It begins with the funeral of Alice’s mother. Every panel is shades of gray, like Alice’s life. Everything she cares about has faded away, leaving her numb and colorless.
And then the Doctor bursts into her life, full of bright energy and color, and nothing is ever the same again.
I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately, DW and Marvel and a scattering of other things, so I’ve looked at a lot of art. The art’s job is to carry the story, set the scene, even color the mood. Likenesses vary, and clarity, and attractiveness; some I like, some not so much, but for the most part the art is invisible. Like the words it creates an image in the reader’s mind and then vanishes.
The art in this issue is some of the most effective I’ve seen.
Not just the gray, and the color the Doctor brings. Alice’s face is incredibly expressive: her grief, her doubt, every emotion clear as if it were spelled out in words. The story is about emotion, and the art brings those emotions powerfully to the fore. Even for the mysterious character at the end, one of the most alien beings we’ve seen in Doctor Who, feelings are crystal clear.
It’s a good story too, a great arc. The rest of the book isn’t bad, but its beginning remains the best of everything.
Okay, so I mentioned the Ninth Doctor, I might as well mention this:
The Cruel Sea
The book collects the entire Ninth Doctor run from Doctor Who Magazine. I enjoyed it immensely; I like the stories and the characterizations, in spite of the weak likenesses, and I love that comics can go and do things still too difficult or expensive for TV. I liked this book much more than the current Ninth Doctor run. Admittedly, I’ve only read parts 1 and 2, and I have determined that I don’t like the fits-and-starts nature of serial comic book reading; when it comes out in a book I’ll give it another try.
I also read the first volume of the Tenth Doctor’s new comic, now in hardcover: Revolutions of Terror. This one also didn’t grab me in serial form, though I did buy the first two issues for Alice XZ’s cover. Turns out it’s totally worth it. The story is gripping, the companion is great, and the Doctor is the Doctor, once again in spite of poor likeness. The second story in the book is even better, making excellent use of the comic book format and the companion’s artistic nature. I’ve put it on my wish list and will watch for Volume 2 to come out.
Next up: the Eleventh Doctor in After Life. The first issue of this one was wonderful, my favorite DW comic so far. Alice Obiefune is a gem. I look forward to more of her story.