Issue 01

Author: Lance Parkin
Artist: Allan Bednar
Comeuppance Comics
RRP 2.25
ISSN 1478-7091
Available now

The teenage Miranda is abducted by a UFO and named Empress of the Universe, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Fleets, Custodian of the Artefacts, Mistress of the Four Keys, Head of the Galactic Bank and Absolute Ruler of the Known and Unknown Planets. Not bad for a girl with no GCSEs...

In my review of Lance Parkin's Doctor Who novel Father Time, I described how much I loved the character of Miranda, the Doctor's adopted daughter in that book. How sad I was when she went her own way into time and space. When she was mentioned in the subsequent novel The City of the Dead, I took the opportunity to express how much I'd like to read about her again. Well, BBC Books never answered my prayers, but Comeuppance Comics has - by giving Miranda her own six-issue series.

The UK-based company is keen to point out that this publication is not primarily intended as a Doctor Who spin-off, and is accessible to a wider readership. That said, there are a couple of sneaky visual gags that allude to the famous series. You certainly don't need to have read Father Time in order to appreciate this comic, though Miranda's calm acceptance of both the existence of extra-terrestrial beings and her new status as galactic ruler might seem a little strange to the uninitiated. On the other hand, non-Who-fans will not have a problem with the fact that the first two pages of this issue ought to take place over a period of three days, according to events in Father Time, rather than the mere 24 hours described in the comic.

But I'm splitting hairs. Writer Parkin does a commendable job of establishing the concept and character of Miranda without alienating Who fans or confusing new readers. His script exhibits a wry sense of humour, as is demonstrated in the aftermath of an assassination attempt against the new Empress - it transpires that she managed to sleep through several previous attempts. I did find the decision to dress Miranda in her old school uniform a tad kinky, however.

I'm slightly less convinced by Allan Bednar's artwork. A great deal of it is intricately detailed, but several of his human faces and figures look out of proportion for no good reason that I can see.

However, that has not deterred me from eagerly awaiting issue 02.

Richard McGinlay