Book Review – Twelfth Doctor Vol. 2 – Fractures

  • Title: Fractures
  • Author: Robbie Morrison
  • Artists: Brian Williamson, Mariano Laclaustra, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 12th Doctor
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
  • Collection Date: 2015
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 6-10
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 12/16/2015

Doctor Who – Fractures is the second volume in Titan Comics 12th Doctor series. It is my favorite so far next to The Four Doctors. This volume consists of three stories. In the first story, the father of a young girl is killed in a car crash. But he appears mysteriously in her garden, much to the young girl’s delight. Then mysterious creatures called “Fractures” turn up, take over the bodies of several people, and chase the man, named Paul. Paul is from an alternate universe, a universe in which he survived but his wife and child were killed by a drunk driver. (In “Earth Prime”, or “our universe” to borrow a term from another rather famous comic book company – Paul was killed in the drunk driving accident but the wife and daughter survived). The Doctor and Clara arrive and get involved as they do. The Fractures are similar to the Reapers from the New Series aired episode, “Father’s Day” – but rather than guarding and feeding on breaks in time – they feed on breaks between universes. It looks like Paul will have to sacrifice himself to set things right – but, unusually for a 12th Doctor story, this does not have a grim ending.

The second story starts with a flashback to the end of the Hyperion War, when Rassilon challenged Count D’If of the Cybock Imperium to a game called Rassilon’s Roulette, played with a Time Gun. Count D’If looks like a giant red space octopus. Rassilon wins of course, but rather than D’If’s timeline being completely erased, one of his servant lords ends up in 1960s Vegas. The Doctor and Clara arrive and the Doctor’s mastery of math and probability wins him a fortune in cash – he’s taken to the head of the casino who happens to be a mobster. The Doctor’s about to “sleep with the fishes” when one of the Cybock Imperium attacks. Yes, a Vegas hotel-casino, in the 1960s, is attacked by a giant red space octopus. Not only that, but “Frank Seneca”, “Dino Martinelli”, and “Solly Dancer” end up helping the Doctor and Clara track the Cybock to the Cosmos Casino, which looks like a 1960s-style SF rocket ship. There, the “Wolf Pack”, Clara, the Doctor, and a former boxer turned FBI informant challenge the octopus from outer space. The entire story is so much fun! It has a real 1960s vibe. The drawings, and “costumes”, for lack of a better word, are just perfect. The tone is light and fun and extremely enjoyable. And it was a welcome relief from some of the grimmer nature of other stories, both in Titan Comics and in the British Television show itself. Plus you’ve basically got Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Junior, running around Las Vegas, in a casino themed like a 1960s cheap SF film (yes, the serving girls wear bubble helmets and green lamé mini skirts), while helping out the Doctor and Clara. It’s an awesome story with a great tone, and no doubt something I will re-read often in the future.

The final story, which is very short, only a few pages, has Clara wondering what type of companion she will be – playing off the Doctor (Capaldi) wondering what kind of Doctor he will be after he regenerates. The Doctor and Clara land on a planet of pure crystal with a copper core. However, a mining colony is on the planet, mining the electricity – which is naturally generated by the quartz. The Doctor and Clara visit the mining colony and find that a miner’s been electrocuted. He isn’t the first, but is the fourth victim. Quickly, perhaps too quickly – as it’s a very short story, the Doctor and Clara figure out the “problem” and Clara is able to make some decisions about being a companion. It’s a good story, and I liked seeing Clara’s thought process – but at the same time, it was really easy to guess what was going on and why the miners were being electrocuted (or rather how).

Titan Comics is doing an excellent job of producing these novels and also making each Doctor’s series really feel like that particular Doctor’s Era. I highly recommend Doctor Who – Fractures, the second volume in Titan Comics Twelfth Doctor series of Doctor Who graphic novels.

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