Doctor Who, Vol. 2
Eye Of Ashaya
Written by Andy Diggle, Richard Dinnick, Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Josh Adams, Marc Deering, Horatio Domingues, Ruben Gonzalez, Charlie Kirchoff, Andres Ponce, Adrian Salmon
Cover by Mark Buckingham and Charlie Kirchoff
Release Date: July 3, 2013
Cover Price: $17.99
The second collection of comics featuring the Matt Smith incarnation of the Doctor follows through a few adventures that will sure to be a delight to fans of the modern Doctor Who series, with a few references to the classic series as well. Set after the Battle of Demon’s Run, but still with the Ponds as the Doctor’s travelling companions, this compilation of short adventures will be a must-read for Whovians.
The first story, The Eye of Ashaya, features the return of Lady Christina from the excellent Planet of the Dead episode from the David Tennant era. The story reunites the Doctor with the professional thief, though in the most unlikely of places – in another galaxy someplace. The tale brings into question how Christina got there in the first place, and also her motives.
For the second story, the Doctor drops off Amy and Rory and goes off on a trip of his own in Space Oddity, in orbit around the Earth in 1965 – where he meets Alexey Leonov, first cosmonaut to spacewalk… but something is wrong, it’s far too early for his spacewalk, and the shadows that begin to surround them are the deadly swarm of Vashta Nerada.
Into the third story, the Doctor takes the Ponds for a trip, only to be sidetracked into a time corridor connecting Peru on Earth with the planet Helion. The problem is initiated by the native Ra’ra’vis’ first attempt at time travel, and the Doctor discovers that they have, somehow impossibly, enlisted the help of Time Lords to assist them.
As an overall collection, the stories in Doctor Who: Series 3, Vol. 2 are of a great read, with The Eye of Ashaya taking the spot as the best one in the book. The return of Lady Christina has long been discussed by numerous fans over the years, and to see it happen within the comic book cosmos of Doctor Who is an absolute treat. In fact, the first two stories would actually work exceptionally well as television episodes of the series, with the third being a close contender with a little bit of work.
The artwork in The Eye of Ashaya is exceptional, bringing a classic realism to the page, while being able to expand into their respective artistic styles. Space Oddity is also good, though leans more into the style of the artists rather than attempting to render likenesses – which actually works to its advantage as a standalone story.
Time Fraud, the third story, is also reasonable, and like Space Oddity, flows into the flair of the artists. It also introduces avian-humanoids to the picture, which would never work out on screen (not even with CGI in this era), but displays nicely in the comic book format.
There are plenty of television references throughout each of the stories. Lady Christina aside, we have an extremely surprising connection to Torchwood: Children Of Earth in one of the stories and the inclusion of those classic though tacky Time Lord outfits were amazing. There’s a reference to the Christopher Eccleston story, Dalek, at one point as well – and a whole bunch of Classic Doctor Who allusions, as well as a few connections to older comics too.
Casual readers may find some value and entertainment in Doctor Who: Series 3, Vol. 2, but the real group that will find it valuable will be Whovians. The stories do have the caliber of the television episodes for the most part, and the writers capture the personality of Smith’s Doctor nicely. The whopping assemblage of references to other episodes in the modern series is what is going to sell it for the newer fans, and it’s a hell of a kick getting to see Lady Christina again.
Put simply, Doctor Who: Series 3, Vol. 2 is a lot of fun. Whovians will find it too be a must-read experience, even as other comic fans might find some worth in it if they’re into some ridiculous, though brilliant, sci-fi and time travel.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5