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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #12
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Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #12 cover by Francesco FrancavillaDoctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #12
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by Kelly Yates and Charlie Kirchoff
Cover by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Spanning fifty years, Doctor Who may be better identified for its impact on television viewers, but the universe of comics have had its share of significant tales of the Time Lord, and with the finale of Prisoners of Time, we reach a closing chapter on the comic book celebrations for the 50th anniversary.

With The Time Of The Doctor still to come on television on Christmas Day, there’s still much to come – but just like the impending regeneration into the Peter Capaldi Doctor, the concluding chapter of Prisoners of Time promises that the Doctor Who comic legacy will also continue into the future.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #11
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Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #11 cover by Francesco FrancavillaDoctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #11
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by Matthew Dow Smith and Charlie Kirchoff
Cover by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Publication Date: November 13, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

If only it were possible that Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time could be a simulcast event. What an amazing spectacle it would be… but therein lies the charm of this comic series: Scott and David Tipton are able to jump through time and grab Doctors and Companions as we remember them – amalgamating them into a major story that has become the comic book story of the year as far as I am concerned.

Issue #11 of Prisoners of Time shifts gears from the previous issues. Whereas 1-10 all had a particular stand-alone adventure for each Doctor, with an ongoing arc in which a Nemesis is kidnapping the companions; in this installment, the issue BEGINS with the kidnapping – forcing the Matt Smith Doctor to investigate where this man from his past (and now his enemy) could be.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #9
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Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #9 cover by Francesco FrancavillaDoctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #9
Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by David Messina, Giorgia Sposito, and ScarletGothica
Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Dave Sim, Charlie Kirchoff
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 2, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Entering into the new era of Doctor Who, Prisoners Of Time centers on the Christopher Eccleston Doctor, and his companion Rose – in a standalone adventure that would have made a great television episode. But more importantly, we finally get some answers in this chapter, including the identity of the previously unknown nemesis that has been kidnapping the companions of all the Doctor’s incarnations.

Sometime after the Doctor’s first visit to Satellite 5 and before his return to it, he takes Rose to the Grand and Glorious Monument to Drake Ayelbourne of Altair VII. Suggested to be the wealthiest human in the galaxy, the Doctor claims the man dwarfs the likes of Bill Gates, Howard Hughes, and Scrooge McDuck combined.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #8
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Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #8Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #8
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by Roger Langridge, Charlie Kirchoff
Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

I’ve always likened the Paul McGann era of Doctor Who to be the transitional stage between Classic Who and Nu Who. Despite having only been in one television adventure, the McGann incarnation of the Doctor is interesting in that this 8th version of the Time Lord has had possibly more explorations in print than most of the other Doctors.

Despite my praising, I also often feel that McGann got the raw end of the stick in the Whoniverse – having only had one televised adventure and never since been given a chance to make an appearance in the modern series. (Come on, Steven Moffat; let him show up in a Multi Doctor story!!!)

So it was with great anticipation that I received the eighth issue of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, focusing on the McGann Doctor. Although it’s never specified how far along in his incarnation he is within the confines of this issue, the comic finds him arriving back in San Francisco in February 2000, to meet up with his companion from the TV movie, Grace.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #7
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Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #7Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #7
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by Kev Hopgood and Charlie Kirchoff
Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 31, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time now turns to concentrate on the final Doctor from the Classic era, originally played by Sylvester McCoy, representing the Gallifreyan’s seventh incarnation. With a breath of fresh air, Scott and David Tipton step back from the continuing overarching plot, allowing this single adventure in which the Doctor faces off against the Master to have more space.

Across the vast expanse of space and time, an unnamed foe is reaching out into multiple points of the Doctor’s timeline and abducting his companions. Meanwhile, the Seventh Doctor, along with awesome companion Ace, arrives in Scotland in 1830, discovering a strange plot involving an aristocratic family and their manor.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners Of Time #6
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Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #6Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #6
Written by Scott & David Tipton
Art by John Ridgway and Charlie Kirchoff
Covers by Francesco Francavilla, Charlie Kirchoff, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 26, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

If the first five issues were love letters to classic Doctor Who, then the sixth issue of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time is a marriage proposal!

The Sixth Doctor era of Doctor Who, with Colin Baker taking up the mantle of the Time Lord, is an interesting era. It suffered from high criticism from the BBC, the beginning of a period that would inevitably lead to the cancellation of the series; and also made Baker don the costume that fashion forgot. Besides this, it’s the comic book era of Colin Baker’s personification that is of great interest – and an aspect of which that gets a great tribute in this new issue of Prisoners Of Time.

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Comic Review: The Colonized #3
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The Colonized #3The Colonized #3
Written by Chris Ryall
Art by Drew Moss
Covers by Nelson Daniel, Jay Fotos, Gabriel Rodriguez, Dave Sim
IDW Publishing
Publication Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

The Colonized is essentially a Zombies Versus Aliens yarn, with humans caught in the middle. Or, more accurately, it’s a Zombies Versus Humans story with aliens caught in the middle. Whatever the case, the third chapter of the new IDW series finally grabs plot fundamentals and puts them to use in a tale that sends up and borderline-parodies the stereotypes of 1950’s horror and sci-fi movies.

Set in the rural remote town of Carbon Falls in Montana, the humans are essentially a community of separatist militiamen that wish for zero interference from the Feds, though the focus of their community is (somewhat ironically) on sustainability and all-things-green. A group of aliens launch their plan to make contact with humanity, though their efforts are messed up by the coincidental event of the dead rising from the graves to feast on the living.

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Comic Review: The Colonized #2
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Maximus Prime   |  
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The Colonized #2The Colonized #2
Aliens and Humans Versus Zombies
Written by Chris Ryall
Illustrated by Drew Moss
Colored by Jay Fotos and Nelson Daniel
Lettered by Tom B. Long
Covers by Dave Sim and Zach Howard
IDW Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Zombies and aliens and separatists, oh my! Chris Ryall and Drew Moss are back and they’ve surely picked up the pace since issue number one. If you enjoyed the first installment of this rollicking adventure, you’re sure to delight in the mayhem that ensues in The Colonized #2.

The self-governing town of Carbon Falls has recently been overrun by a horde of zombies and a crashed alien spaceship. Carbon Falls’ appointed leader, Hux, continues to butt heads with self-proclaimed leader, Randy Roy; their ideals, southern drawl, and an armory of weapons force the men into a standstill as they discover that the alien’s malfunctioned tractor-beam was the cause of the zombie outbreak. Eventually deciding to hide the aliens until the group can help them leave Earth, they make their way back to the home of Hux’s recently deceased father. Randy Roy — still heated that the aliens “caused” one of his friends to die — triggers a ruckus when he makes a violent decision. Startling discoveries are made and if all of these peculiar characters weren’t enough, someone else is secretly roaming around their territory as well!

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Comic Review: The Colonized #1
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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The Colonized #1The Colonized #1
Zombies Versus Aliens
By Chris Ryall
Art by Drew Moss
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Tom B. Long
Cover by Dave Sim
Varient cover by John Byrne
IDW Publishing
Release date: April 10, 2013
Price: $3.99

The title The Colonized might not immediately grab your attention, but its subtitle, “Zombies Versus Aliens,” sure will – at least that’s what did it for me. The Colonized #1 kicks off a new four-issue miniseries from IDW, where, you guessed it, it’s a battle between zombies and aliens!

A spaceship carrying friendly aliens on a mission of peace is about to make first contact with what they believe is humankind. The little green men initiate their tracter beam, about to meet and greet an Earthling, only to find that what they’ve pulled in is neither dead nor alive – it’s a zombie!

Down on the surface in the U.S. state of Montana, as a militia of separatists mourns the loss of their leader, the aforementioned alien spacecraft crash-lands nearby, shocking the mourners, who come face-to-face with not only the outer spacemen, but the reanimated body of one of their own!

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Comic Review: The Matchbook Comics of Silber Media
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Spartacus!   |  
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Silber Media: BuildThe Matchbook Comics of Silber Media
All Comics written by Brian John Mitchell
Art by Various
Silber Media

People don’t say this often enough, but mini comics are cool. Really cool.

Those tiny, cheap volumes printed on 12 generic pieces of printer paper, folded and half held together by a single staple down the middle? Love them. Those pretentious, autobiographical comics you only find in comic book stores in walking distance to some rinky-dink liberal arts college? Can’t get enough of them. Those ugly, xeroxed books with art that looks like it was done by some disgruntled high school kid and, in fact, probably was? Those are my favorites!

Enter Brian John Mitchell. He’s been doing his own style of minis since 2003. A musician out of North Carolina with a small record label, Silber Records, he sells his own matchbook-sized comics through his website and at shows. They’re small in size, but large in scope. Whether it’s a western or a domestic drama, an autobio-comedy or a straight sci-fi, the style stays essentially the same. One panel per page. Short, declarative sentences. Like a haiku, it’s a sparse but surprisingly rich approach to doing comics.

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