Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Review - Doctor Who: The 12th Doctor (Vol. 2) # 6

Doctor Who: The 12th Doctor (Vol. 2) # 6
"The Twist" - Part 1 (of 3)
Written by: George Mann
Art by: Mariano Laclaustra
Colours by: Carlos Cabrera

It’s all change for the Twelfth Doctor for this latest issue of the comic series as George Mann takes over writing duties from regular script-writer, Robbie Morrison. Replacing Rachael Stott on art is the wonderful Mariano Laclaustra, who brings a whole new flavour to the series that suits this new jumping-on point. Aside from the creative team changes, the series has also moved forward chronologically to feature stories post-Season Nine without Clara Oswald as the Doctor’s companion. Taking place after “The Husbands of River Song”, these stories are in the unique position of offering readers brand-new adventures taking place between the annoyingly long hiatus between Seasons Nine and Ten, which airs in 2017. As such, the Titan Comics staff are able to fill the space with new, temporary companions until the series returns with the recently announced Bill, played by Pearl Mackie. I'm actually quite excited to see the comic series creating adventures ahead of the televised episodes, rather than slotting ‘untold stories’ in-between the continuity of existing episodes.

Upon opening up the comic, I was struck immediately by the beauty of Mariano Laclaustra’s artwork on this issue. While the Argentinian artist has worked on Doctor Who before on a number of stories, his artwork really stands out in this issue, thanks to the amazing colouring from Carlos Cabrera. I’ll be honest, I've never really considered the effect that the colourist has on an artist’s work, but seeing Laclaustra’s work in this issue compared to his guest stint in “Unearthly Things” in last year’s The Twelfth Doctor # 11 really emphasises the difference it makes. I also love the attention of detail given to Laclaustra’s artwork, especially in those huge awe-inspiring double page spreads. The added coat of ‘grime’ given to Laclaustra’s artwork helps established the dilapidated streets of the Twist, evoking memories of The Hoop from Alan Moore's The Ballad of Halo Jones, another British sci-fi classic! I wonder if that series, and its eponymous female lead was an inspiration on Mann’s writing.

The change of writer and artist certainly adds a new tone to the Twelfth Doctor series, adding a touch of gravitas to proceedings following the events of the Season Nine finale. While Rachael Stott’s art is fantastic, it does have a more light-hearted feel to it that wouldn't have captured the same grittiness that Laclaustra’s art manages to. That said, there are definitely similarities between the two artists, especially when it comes to the depiction of the Twelfth Doctor, capturing Peter Capaldi’s mannerisms with alarming accuracy. George Mann’s storyline works well, riffing on classic science-fiction tropes of cramped, dystopian colonies of the future whilst introducing what appears to be werewolves as the storyline’s main threat. Mann also introduces a pair of potential companions to travel with the Twelfth Doctor during these comics set within the Season Nine hiatus. While it’s early days yet, I'm quite interested in seeing more from Hattie – the punk rocker from the 40th Century – as she offers a refreshing alternative to the usual companions usually featured on the TV series.

This was a very impressive start to a new status-quo for the Twelfth Doctor, and I'm surprised that there wasn't more fanfare on the cover to promote this as a jumping-on point for new and lapsed readers. For fans itching for more Doctor Who during the series’ hiatus, this is absolutely essential reading. With a cracking script from George Mann and beautifully cinematic art from Mariano Laclaustra, this is shaping up to be an excellent series-defining arc for the comic book. I cannot say enough good things about this issue, it is an excellent addition to the Doctor Who canon and deserves to be read by the entire fan-base! Titan Comics has proven itself to be impeccable with its ever-expanding Doctor Who range of comics, with each series offering readers something entirely different from the others. I’d argue that the Twelfth Doctor series is the one most likely to appeal to mainstream audiences, telling in-continuity tales about the current incarnation, so it is great to see it deliver some absolutely spell-binding stories.

Score - 9.8 out of 10

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor (Vol. 2) # 6 is now available in all good comic shops, including Forbidden Planet, as well as on the Comixology website. Be sure to put in a standing order for the upcoming issues in the series when you pick up your copy!

1 comment:

  1. Idiot.


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