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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Twelfth Doctor #2


Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Dave Taylor
Colourist: Hi-Fi Color
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: US $3.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 19 November 2014

The Doctor and Clara came to the ice world of Isen VI – to find it transformed into a lush jungle by terraformers in the pay of the richest man in the 25th century, Kano Dollar! But this is no holiday. The Doctor has tracked a signal of Time Lord origin. Descending to the core of the planet, they discover that the terraforming machines have ruptured an ancient containment unit. Now, after millions of years in cryogenic suspension, the lone survivor of a species that once conquered the galaxy is awake! Caught in a deadly mystery, Clara and the Doctor’s actions will have scorching repercussions for the universe…

When the fiery Hyperion appeared at the end of the last issue, I was slightly concerned that this creature was similar to the Pyroviles, the monsters all in a lava in the Tenth Doctor episode The Fires of Pompeii. There are some superficial commonalities, but the opening pages of this issue explain the unique and interesting properties of the Hyperions. Vaguely human-shaped sentient suns, they were – like life-giving stars – initially benevolent, but – like stars approaching the supernova phase – they turned bad. Rann-Korr, the Hyperion unleashed on Isen VI, is also unusual in that he is a monster with a sense of humour. He takes a sarcastic view of the Doctor’s use of the sonic screwdriver: “A fearsome weapon indeed. A veritable doomsday device!” I half expected him to add, “Ooh, I’m so scared – not!”

Talking of humour, I don’t know whether this was the idea of writer Robbie Morrison or artist Dave Taylor, but the priest who oversees the wedding of business tycoon Kano Dollar resembles the lab assistant Beaker from The Muppet Show! This comic retains the dark edge of its source material, however – witness the fate of the selfish Dollar towards the end of this issue…

When a character gets zapped during the opening pages, I almost expected him to wake up in Missy’s Nethersphere, but either the writer was not aware of this overall arc from the most recent television series, or the BBC forbade him from participating in it. As to precisely when during the series this storyline takes place, I would guess between Flatline and In the Forest of the Night. It must be after The Caretaker, because the Doctor is aware of Danny Pink and, in #1, Clara mentions the Skovox Blitzer. The presence of Courtney Woods in both The Caretaker and Kill the Moon probably rules out any gaps occurring between those two episodes, and these comics cannot take place between Kill the Moon and Mummy on the Orient Express, owing to the argument between Clara and the Doctor. A throwaway remark by the companion regarding three dimensions and “pancake people” in #1 could be taken as evidence of a post-Flatline placement. Clara’s carefree attitude towards travelling in the TARDIS probably means that Danny has not yet discovered, in In the Forest of the Night, that she has been concealing these trips from him.

Taylor’s artwork appears less polished this time, suggesting a bit of a rush job. Morrison’s resolution of the Terrorformer tale is a tad predictable and also rather flawed – without giving too much away, surely the Doctor’s solution to the problem cannot be a permanent one in all that jungle heat. One intriguing loose end, however, is certainly entirely deliberate… And talking of temperature, isn’t Clara uncomfortable in that fur-lined ski suit?

I have been nit-picking, but this remains an enjoyable comic. Not up to the standard of #1, but still on fine (terror) form.


Richard McGinlay

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