Titan's Eleventh Doctor Comic - Advance Review!

As promised, here's the second first issue I was sent (Siskoid's Mailbox was bursting!), chronicling the adventures of the 11th Doctor in a post-IDW world. Now, I've got to say, while I had problems with IDW's 10th Doctor comics, I really loved their Eleventh. It was quirky, funny, inventive, charming, and occasionally had some big names on it like Andy Diggle and Paul Cornell. Can Titan keep the quality up? You'll find out next Wednesday, but I can give you a little preview (scroll back to yesterday for the lowdown on the 10th Doctor book). Ready? Geronimo!

"After Life"
Writers: Al Ewing and Rob Williams (Ewing currently writes Mighty Avengers and Loki Agent of Asgard, with lots of Judge Dredd under his belt, while Williams is a 2000 A.D.writer with lots of Marvel and Dynamite credits)
Artist: Simon Fraser (also a 2000 A.D. veteran, he is perhaps best known for his Nikolai Dante strip)

Ok, so where is this series taking place? According to the book's recap, just after Amy and Rory's honeymoon, as the Doctor lets them settle into the life of newlyweds. In other words, between Series 5 and 6. This is a comparably young Eleven, before all the Impossible Astronaut stuff started happening. The Ponds are off-stage, but presumably not inaccessible.

As with the 10th Doctor book, 11 is introduced to a new companion. She's Alice Obiefune, a library assistant who has, in her personal life, hit rock bottom. Tragedy and reversals have hounded her and situational depression has set in. She literally lives in a gray world (thanks to sensitive coloring by Gary Caldwell) until she meets the Doctor and color is restored. And a lot of color too. Alice is a clever woman with a big heart, and quick to point out what's wrong with any given picture.
And she's sad. I don't think we've seen someone become a companion because of this before. Boredom, curiosity, circumstance (all those orphans), but not the simple, basic idea that someone would need to reconnect with joy. It's a little bit as if Van Gogh had become a full-time companion, if you like.

Unlike the 10th Doctor book which went for a longer storyline, this is a "done-in-one" story that introduces Alice and has her help solve the problems caused by an alien "rainbow dog" attracted to her misery. The final solution, like the animal, is fanciful, and despite Alice's hardships, the story is geared towards comedy, between Eleven's amusing speech patterns and some silliness in the House of Commons. The art by Simon Fraser likewise straddles the line between cartoon and realism, excellent on facial expressions.

Bonus content! The other book had a humorous photo-comic page featuring Doctor Who toys, and so does this one, but also an indie-flavored "Pond Life" strip by Marc Ellerby that casts Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor as a sitcom family. I hope there's one in every issue. Plus, Doctor Who Legacy players will be able to add Alice to their collection thanks to a special code!

While I was sad to see IDW's 11th Doctor book go, it looks like the franchise is in good hands with Titan, and I look forward to a good long run on both books. Both first issues come out on July 23rd, look for them wherever you buy your comics.



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