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Comic Review: Doctor Who, Vol. II #9
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Doctor WhoDoctor Who Volume II: Issue #9
Written by Tony Lee
Art by Josh Adams
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by Mark Buckingham, Charlie Kirchoff, and Ben Templesmith
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 05, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

The major point you need to know about this issue of IDW’s Doctor Who, is that while the Doctor is with Rory and Amy, he has a new companion.

An intelligent robot dinosaur called Kevin the Tyrannosaurus.

This concept is as ridiculous as it is brilliant! The writers obviously leave it unexplained how Kevin enters and exits the TARDIS, but his sheer presence in this issue is marvelous. For all intents and purposes, Kevin becomes the celebrity of this Doctor Who comic, playing a pivotal role as the story reaches its conclusion.

The Doctor and his companions arrive on Space Station E11 Nebula Base where, not only is it apparently known for ‘Granberry Smoothies’, however also in the grip of a cult that worships a gigantic space squid. A High Priest also arrives at Nebula Base to guide the followers of the cult through some form of rapture.

As it turns out, the Priest and the Squid have some deceitful motivations. The gigantic space squid has apparently the ability to manipulate and control human minds, using the Priest as his proxy. The arrival of the Space Squid at the station causes the entire human inhabitants of Nebula Base, including Amy and Rory, to fall under its control.

The exceptions to the control, of course, are the non-humans. Namely, the Doctor and Kevin… It is up to them to stop the Squid and allow the humans to regain control of their own brainpowers.

Titled Space Squid, the storyline for Doctor Who, Vol. II #9 written by Tony Lee is quite solid, and for the continuity geeks, seems to be set some place between the end of Series 5 and the beginning of Series 6, at a guess. There are a couple allusions here and there to the modern and classic television series of Doctor Who, though I will forgive the IDW crew (just this once) for misspelling the name of Sutekh the Destroyer from the Tom Baker masterpiece, The Pyramids of Mars.

As for the artwork, Josh Adams and Rachelle Rosenberg are accomplishing quite the stellar job for the Doctor Who comic series. While employing some of the modern approaches used in many comic lines, there is a feeling that connects to the classic Doctor Who comic strip series (considerably better than in the days of the David Tennant Doctor Who comic era). There were times that reminded me of elements from the comic strips from Jon Pertwee‘s and Peter Davison‘s era. Which is quite the commendation, seeing as Dave Gibbons was responsible in part for the Davison era of comics.

The likenesses of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill are good, but fluid, which is important to the ambiance of the comic book. While the artists try to keep close to the imagery portrayed on screen by the three actors, they also seem to approach the art flexibly within the context of the page of the comic. In my view, this is a benefit to the storytelling, though fans after precise likenesses may be disappointed at times.

While there are foundations of continuity that connect to previous comic issues, and also to the television series, curious readers new to the Doctor will not find themselves disoriented, lost, or confused in this series. The creators seem to be doing an admirable job of ensuring that they touch on the connections between different issues and the TV show, but at the same time understanding that each issue may just be the reader’s first experience with a Doctor Who comic, or even their initial experience with the Doctor period.

Overall, this issue of Doctor Who was an enjoyable read, pushing the tradition of Who comics into the future, with apt homages to both the classic comic strip, and with solid connections to the television series.

And what’s more, it has a robotic space dinosaur. Named “Kevin.”

What more could you hope for in a Doctor Who comic but that?

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

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