Book Review – Doctor Who: Arena of Fear

  • Title: Arena of Fear
  • Author: Nick Abadzis
  • Artists: Elena Casagrande, Eleonora Carlini
  • Line:  Tenth Doctor, 
  • Characters: Tenth Doctor, Gabby, Cindy Wu, Capt. Jack Harkness
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 8/08/2017

This is the third time I’ve tried to post a review of this graphic novel. First time I read the book, my Internet went out for a week and I couldn’t review it. Second time, I got the entire review posted, only to have it completely disappear when I hit save. Rest assured, I will copy this review to Word before hitting send this time. Just background as this is definitely not a “first impressions” review.

Titan Comics Arena of Fear features the Tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant on the BBC series, Doctor Who. This volume picks-up directly after the first volume, and the first story is told from the point-of-view of Cindy Wu. She has lost her memory, as have her companions, Capt. Jack, Cleo, Erik, and Muthmunno a Neanderthal healer. No one has their memories – and the environment is hostile, with the people being forced to constantly fight each other. They join an alien “River Goddess” and find the Doctor. They locate the Doctor, deep in meditation, who helps everyone to regain their memories. Gabby shows up and goes on the attack. But the Doctor realizes she shouldn’t have the power she has. Gabby is being controlled by Ebonite. The Doctor uses the Song of the Santee to bring Gabby out of it. Breaking Ebonite’s control also means that the Doctor and Gabby are able to free the group entirely – who are being held in a miniscope. The Doctor will help everyone to get home, and invites Gabby and Cindy to travel in his TARDIS. Muthmunno decides to gather the Neanderthals who are held captive in the miniscope and seek “new hunting grounds” – a planet where they can live without being driven to extinction.

The next story really feels like filler – Cindy complains that the TARDIS is haunted. The Doctor tells her it’s not possible. Gabby explains she may have seen the impressions of the Doctor’s past lives, and shows her portraits of the previous Doctors. However, they are attacked in the library. The Doctor rescues the two then, explaining he was re-configuring the TARDIS rooms to get more power.

Finally, Gabby asks the Doctor to take them on vacation. They land in Dewbury, the most haunted village in the UK, just in time for the Paranormal Literary Festival. Gabby, Cindy, and the Doctor discover the village has a high incidence of OCD – often apparently caused by encounters with the Witch of the Wishing Well. The Doctor meets an old man who was affected, who senses the Doctor is a mage, and takes him to the cave that is home to the witch. The Doctor senses time traces with his sonic screwdriver and finds a window to the Time Vortex. The witch is a being, held captive by the Vortex. The old man, Randall, states the Witch has seven faces, and to the Doctor it mentions Regeneration. The Doctor sees a connection to the Untempered Schism. He’s able to use the TARDIS to free the “witch” – which cures the affected in Dewbury, including Randall. But the TARDIS is deeply affected and even starts to break apart.

Finally, references to Anubis and also Sutekh are sprinkled throughout the book, and it ends with Dorothy Bell convincing “dogface” Anubis, he isn’t Sutekh. Still, these references will no doubt have consequences in the next volume or two.

Arena of Fear has some excellent art, but at other times Gabby and Cindy are drawn in such a similar fashion it’s hard to tell them apart. Much of this novel also feels like it’s a transistion between last volume’s adventures with Neanderthal kind and something to happen with Anubis, Sutekh, and the Osirans. The Doctor even uncovers a device to hold an Osiran captive, while heading for New Orleans in the TARDIS. Still, a good story, and no doubt an important part of the on-going series.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Heralds of Destruction

  • Title: The Heralds of Destruction
  • Author: Paul Cornell
  • Artists: Christopher Jones, Hi-Fi
  • Line: 3rd Doctor
  • Characters: Third Doctor, Jo Grant, UNIT
  • Collection Date: 2017
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 7/06/2017

The Third Doctor story Heralds of Destruction is a fun read that feels like a Third Doctor Era story. Taking place just after “The Three Doctors”, the story features Jo Grant and the full UNIT crew as well as the Master, and a surprise guest villain responsible for the ubiquitous “alien” invasion. The story opens with Jo and Capt. Mike Yates on a date, only to be interrupted by an emergency. The Doctor, similarly, is playing chess when he is called in. The Doctor meets Jo, the Brigadier, Mike, Sgt. Benton, and various UNIT men in the small English village of Fairford to combat robot machines. The Doctor tries to talk to these “aliens” with no luck at first. It soon turns out the machines are composed of micro-machines (nanotech) that can rebuild itself from local materials. The Doctor blocks in the machines with a force field, then takes a sample to his lab to study.

At the lab, the Doctor encounters himself, or rather, the Second Doctor (or does he? Double identities and people pretending to be someone they are not is a strong theme in this graphic novel). As the Brigadier keeps an eye on the situation in Fairford, he encounters the Master and fights off his hypnotism. Meanwhile, at the lab, Jo is attacked by the micromachines, which take over her body. The Doctor hypnotizes her and goes into her subconscious. The lettering for this inner journey is fantastic, though Jo’s subconscious is just as forthright, honest, and happy as Jo herself.

The Doctor is able to have a conversations with the micromachines and not only rescue Jo but keep this part of the hive mind on his side, rather than on the side of the real villain – who is not the Master.

The Master, despite his impersonations of various people throughout the book, actually ends-up working with the Doctor, even pointing out that a certain character isn’t who he says he is (to say more would spoil one of the biggest surprises of the novel, which I won’t do).

The villain is actually out to steal Time Lord technology – something the Master doesn’t want to happen either, thus his partnership with the Doctor. As they, and UNIT, go to capture the villain, the villain succeeds in transporting his lab building back in time.

In 1868, the Doctor, the Master, and the bad guy all try to convince the all-male British Parliament to follow different paths – from accepting the bad guy as dictator, to preserving history.

The Doctor though is able to use his previous alliance with the small group of micromachines that attacked Jo, to influence the other – thus, taking away the villain’s main weapon. The Master fails to gain control of the micromachines, but escapes custody. The villain is captured and jailed. The Doctor returns the lab and UNIT to the proper time. He also discusses with Jo, that in a sense the Master and even the villain were right – he’s been sitting in one place, doing one thing, too long. When Jo intuits that he’s planning to leave in the TARDIS, now that he can, he agrees – and invites her along. We also see clear indications that Capt. Mike Yates isn’t satisfied with his life and longs for a Golden Age that is less complex and cleaner and prettier (for lack of a better term). This sets-up his otherwise inexplicable behavior in, “Invasion of the Dinosaurs”, something that otherwise does come from nowhere.

I enjoyed this book very much. It really felt like a Third Doctor adventure. Everyone was in character. It featured all the UNIT crew, including Corporal Bell – a female UNIT officer, and Osgood a tech (whom the author points out is a nod to the Osgood in the new series). The art in this book is very good – everyone looks as they should, and the colors are fantastic. I also loved the chapter lettering for the trips to Jo’s subconscious. The relationship between the Doctor and Jo is also very well-written and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

Free Comic Book Day 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017 was Saturday May 6th, 2017. I went with a friend of mine and we arrived probably around 11:00 am. So there was a long line that wrapped around the corner. However, it was still an excellent event. There were cosplayers, and Vault of Midnight, my local comics shop, had their side walk activity area with vendors, artists, and kids activities. This year there was even a food truck! Once inside the store was less packed solid than last year – making it even easier to get to the free comics on the back wall as well as to look around the store for other items to purchase. This year we were allowed to choose four free promo books. I also picked-up my weekly pull list comics and inquired about a Doctor Who graphic novel that was missing from my collection. It is to the credit of the excellent staff at Vault of Midnight that even as busy as they were, they were still willing to check on a special order for me.

On to the comics, this year I picked-up four free comics, all tie-ins by chance. I picked up: Titan’s Four Doctors FCBD event issue; IDW’s Star Trek the Next Generation Mirror Broken; Archie Comics Betty and Veronica (a tie-in to Riverdale, somewhat), and DC’s Wonder Woman.

I’m going to start by discussing Wonder Woman. I picked this free promo comic up thinking it would be a tie-in to this Summer’s Wonder Woman movie. However, I was a bit disappointed because it’s actually a re-print of Wonder Woman Rebirth #1, which I have already read. In fact, Wonder Woman has been on my pull list since Rebirth started. Also, with two volumes of Wonder Woman Rebirth available in graphic novel format – it’s probably something that a lot of people have read since it’s included in the first Wonder Woman Rebirth Graphic Novel. That’s the negative. The positive is – I re-read the comic anyway and I really enjoyed it. As much as I enjoy Rebirth, and I do, Wonder Woman and Green Arrow have been the hardest lines for me to “get in to” so to speak. I finally dropped Green Arrow (I applaud the extremely brave social commentary of Green Arrow – but I found I couldn’t connect to Oliver and it always ended-up at the bottom of the stack when I was reading my books.) Wonder Woman is also teetering on the edge of being dropped from my pull – though I’d probably get the graphic novels instead. With two completely different storylines, Wonder Woman is really hard to follow month to month, especially if one isn’t that familiar with her storyline and background in the comics. But having said all that, I re-read this, the first issue of Wonder Woman Rebirth, and I found I really enjoyed it. Having read the bi-weekly book for about a year, I had a slightly better idea what was going on. If you haven’t read the new Wonder Woman, I do recommend it, I just feel the graphic novels are an easier format for enjoying the stories.

Betty and Veronica I picked up as a tie-in to Riverdale, the new series on the CW that’s based on Archie Comics. This story was fun, and full of surprises. It’s narrated by J. Farnsworth Wigglebottom III (a.k.a Hot Dog) Jughead’s dog. The dog speaks directly to the audience and is amusing and fun as he both narrates and comments on the action. Wigglebottom even “eats” two pages of the comic and then has Betty and Veronica giving exposition instead – in swimsuits. There’s a fair amount of humor in the book too. The story involves a national coffee chain buying out and closing down Pop’s the diner where the kids hang out. Betty is angered by this and rallies everyone to save Pop’s. When she discovers that Veronica’s father owns the coffee company, and the bank that holds Pop’s mortgage, Betty explodes at Veronica – and the issue ends there. The back of the book includes informative advertisements for Archie Comics, including the “new Archie”, and a Riverdale tie-in. There are also character portraits from Riverdale. Overall, I enjoyed this. The story is somewhat basic, one of the characters even comments that threats of Pop’s closing seem to happen a lot. But the breaking of the fourth wall, and the humor, make this an enjoyable read. Betty and Veronica and the other newer Archie comic books make for an excellent comic for teens and children, filled with Americana and a slightly old-fashioned bent.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken is a return trip to the Next Gen Mirror Universe. This story follows Lt. Barclay’s Mirror Universe double. I have always like Lt. Barclay and his Mirror Universe counterpart is tough, capable, and definitely shaped by the circumstances of his universe. In the Mirror universe, the Empire is breaking down, having suffered catastrophic wars with the Klingons and the Cardassians – Spock’s era of reform is over, resulting in an even more ruthless attitude within the Terran Empire – or what’s left of it. Assassination is still the only means of advancement, something we forget as we see Barclay contemplating getting out of engineering and into a “better” life. I liked the focus on a single character with basically a concluded story in this promo book. It’s also a good intro to the ST:TNG Mirror Universe comic, and the write-up for that series promises to be very character-focused, introducing a character per issue before any major plot. That’s the type of writing I like in comics – focus on character, and character interaction as well as world-building. The plots should always add to this. But when mere “action” takes over, without character being explored – the stories can fall flat. This issue of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Mirror Universe comic emphasizes character, and a relatively minor one at that (Barclay) and I enjoyed it. The last pages of the book explain three other available series from IDW, with three sample pages of each one. They are Star Trek – Boldly Go, which follows on from the reboot Star Trek films, taking place just after Star Trek Beyond. The second is Star Trek / Green Lantern. And the third is, Star Trek – Waypoint. Star Trek – Waypoint is an anthology series featuring all the various versions of Trek, though the sample issue seems to be set in a future version of Trek (Data has been uploaded to the Enterprise and is now the ship’s computer, though he projects holograms of himself to various duty stations.) all three of these series looked pretty good, and I actually plan on looking for a graphic novel version of the ST/GL crossover series. The art in this book (and the sample pages) is also very good, with a lovely painted look that’s has a dark undertone that’s appropriate for the Mirror universe. The color palettes for the sample pages fit the various versions of Trek they represent. If you are a Star Trek fan, check out IDW’s comic series – you won’t be disappointed, I think.

Doctor Who – The Promise (Four Doctors, FCBD 2017) begins, appropriately enough with teh Twelfth Doctor and Bill running on an alien planet. They find an ancient temple and enter, using YMCA as the visual key lock. The Doctor locates a fob watch, but it’s broken. He and Bill tell the local aliens a story and prevent a civil war. In the TARDIS, Bill asks the Doctor to tell her the real story and he tells her about his friend, Plex. The story flashes back to when the Ninth Doctor has to break the bad news to the hermit, Plex, that his entire planet has been destroyed. Plex then reveals to the Doctor he’s producing clones from his own stem cells and siphoned Time Lord Arton energy. The Tenth Doctor visits Plex when he dies, where he sees a hologram from his friend, who sends him to the planet of the clones. The Tenth Doctor has t “fixing” the overly deferential nature of the race of alien clones. The Eleventh Doctor awakens Plex, who becomes the leader of his re-united planet. Though as the Twelfth Doctor tells Bill, he’s afraid the society will break down again. This is a pretty good story, though it’s a bit hard to follow at times, since the different Doctors visit Plex at different times in his life – and nothing occurs in linear order. The back of the promo book includes a very handy catalog of Titan’s various Doctor Who graphic novels and specials. The art is excellent, and colorful in this book.

Book Review – Eighth Doctor Vol. 1 – A Matter of Life and Death

  • Title: A Matter of Life and Death
  • Author: George Mann
  • Artists: Emma Vieceli, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 8th Doctor
  • Characters: Eighth Doctor, Josephine “Josie” Day
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/22/2016

**spoiler alert** A Matter of Life and Death introduces a new collection of Doctor Who adventures to Titan Comics line of Doctor Who graphic novels, this time featuring the Eighth Doctor as played by Paul McGann in the TV Movie, the audio adventures by Big Finish, the BBC Eighth Doctor original novel series, and the televised short, “The Night of the Doctor”. This novel consists of related short stories.

The Doctor arrives at his “house” in Wales to retrieve a book. But he finds the house is occupied by an artist, Josephine “Josie” Day. He and Josie find the book he was looking for, along with a slip of paper in the handwriting of one of the Doctor’s other incarnations with a list of times and places. However, before he can do much about it, Josie’s paintings start to come to life and the figures – which resemble some of the Doctor’s foes – attack the local village. The Doctor and Josie stop the attack, with Josie using her art to create a painting of the Doctor and to rescue the village.

Next it’s off to outer space where the TARDIS brings the Doctor and Josie to a planetoid occupied by cat people – who are under attack by sentient crystals. Not only is the crystal bombardment causing damage and killing the cat people outright, but even a slight wound turns deadly as a cat person is turned into a crystal Spherion and Josie is wounded by a crystal almost immediately. The Doctor, however, brokers a peace between the two intelligent species – discovering that the Spherions didn’t realize that the Cat People were intelligent. The Spherions had also been attacked by a different species and their breeding planet destroyed – and they found the Cat People and their planet (and the series of escape planets the Cat People colonize) as perfect hosts for their seedlings. The Doctor gets the Spherions to realize what they are doing, then finds both species their own planets.

Next, it’s off to Victorian England in 1866, and a creepy Victorian magic show. There, the magician, Silversmith, astounds audiences by entering a mirror on one side of the stage, and emerging from it on the other. He also has audience members do the same thing. The Doctor and Josie notice there’s something strange about this, and the audience members do not seem the same after their experience. Silversmith is literally a mirror image and he sends partial images out to attack. The Doctor, with help from Josie, frees the originals and traps the mirror images back inside the mirror.

In 1932, the Doctor and Josie arrive at a Manor House for a party – but the party is attacked by branches and trees, and even the TARDIS is attacked by small imp-like beings called Nix. Josie and the Doctor guard the family’s young son – who tells him a family legend. The Doctor uses the legend to discover what is really going on and again nearly everyone is rescued.

In the last story, the Doctor and Josie head to a futuristic spa where the ultra-rich not only relax and rejuvenate – but acquire new, synthetic bodies. But when the bodies rise up, claiming their right to freedom – it looks like trouble. Again, the Doctor is able to avert disaster. Josie’s origins are explained, and although they return to the Doctor’s cottage in a Welsh village where he found Josie, the Doctor decides he will travel with Josie for awhile.

I enjoyed A Matter of Life and Death very much. It’s a happy, enjoyable story. The Doctor is able to rescue pretty much everyone. Josie is a fun companion – I love her bright blue hair, it’s striking on the page. I do think it’s odd that Titan is using the name “Josephine” as that’s been used for a companion before on Doctor Who (the Third Doctor’s companion, Josephine “Jo” Grant) but at least her nickname’s different. But the effect of the Doctor’s successes make the book very happy. It’s a light-hearted adventure story which makes a change from the darker-themed other books (that is, the 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctor series of graphic novels). I hope this line continues, as McGann’s Doctor is one of my favorites, and he’s perfectly suited to alternative media than TV. McGann’s Eighth Doctor has been successful in audio plays (voiced by McGann) for Big Finish and in books for BBC Books.

The art in this graphic novel is gorgeous, simply gorgeous. Again, I love Josie’s bright blue hair. The art has a very real look to it. There are also several full-page cover spreads in the issue that are simply gorgeous. I loved the art, it’s some of the best so far from Titan Comics in the Doctor Who line. There is also a miniature cover gallery at the end.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Supremacy of the Cybermen

  • Title: The Supremacy of the Cybermen
  • Authors: Cavan Scott and George Mann
  • Artists: Ivan Rodriguez, Walter Geovanni, Alessandro Vitti, Tazio Bettin, Nicola Righi, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: Multi-Doctor Specials (Doctor Who Comics Event)
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Ninth Doctor, Gabby Gonzalez, Cindy Wu, Alice Obiefune, Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, Jackie Tyler
  • Collection Date: 2017
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 3/25/2017

Supremacy of the Cybermen is the collection of the 2016 Doctor Who Comics event. It features the four modern Doctors and their companions in the main stories, plus cameos from every Doctor ever from Hartnell to John Hurt (the “War Doctor”). The story features Cybermen who have gotten a hold of time travel technology and are changing history. The Doctors, in various time periods know something is wrong but don’t know how to fight it. And, scarily enough, they are losing. From Cyber-Silurians in the Dinosaur Age, to Ace as a Cyber-person attacking the Seventh Doctor – this book is richly illustrated and quite depressing – until the very end.

It is the Twelfth Doctor who discovers that the Cybermen aren’t bent on attacking Gallifrey, but that Rassilon has forged an alliance with the Cybermen – giving them control of space/time and the Eye of Harmony (Gallifrey’s black hole that powers time travel) itself. The Doctor is justifiably angry at Rassilon and realises he is being duped by the Cybermen.

Rassilon is absorbed as pure regenerative energy, then the Doctor is also connected to the Eye of Harmony. Inside, the Doctor meets Rassilon and they must work together to overcome the Cybermen’s plot. But the Twelfth Doctor still remembers the disasters of the past – even after they are reversed.

I enjoyed this story very much, especially the cameos of the past Doctors. The artwork was particularly beautiful. And the story was very complex. Doctor Who Supremacy of the Cybermen is a story not to be missed by any Doctor Who fan. Highly recommended.

Book Review – Fourth Doctor Vol. 1 – The Gaze of the Medusa

  • Title: The Gaze of the Medusa
  • Authors: Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby
  • Artists: Brian Williamson, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 4th Doctor
  • Characters: Fourth Doctor
  • Collection Date: 2017
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 1/27/2017

**spoiler alert** Gaze of the Medusa is Titan’s first collection featuring a classic Doctor. The graphic novel features the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker and Sarah Jane Smith. Even though you know where it’s going from the title, it’s still an enjoyable story and the art is excellent. Sarah and the Doctor are observing a Wild West show in Victorian England when they are attacked – Sarah is dragged off by large brutes with a single eye, and the Doctor is rescued by Professor Odysseus James and his daughter Athena. Professor James is fascinated by the study of Chrononautology. They journey to Chiswick to rescue Sarah from Lady Emily Carstairs – a veiled woman with strange servants and a gallery of rather life-like stone statues. Lady Carstairs shows Sarah a statute of herself.

Lady Carstairs possesses the Lamp of Chronos which she thinks can bring her back to her deceased family – but all she sees is a window to a prison in 5th or 6th century BC. Before the Doctor can do anything about the Lamp – Sarah and Athena’s father fall through the open gateway. The Doctor takes the Lamp and Athena to his TARDIS and also travels back. But this takes time. Sarah is Quantum-Locked by a Medusa – a creature that is related to the Weeping Angels (whom this Doctor has heard of but never met). Sarah isn’t dead, but she’s locked – and food for the Medusa. Before the Professor, Athena, and the Doctor can escape the professor is not only turned to stone, but smashed – killing him. Lady Carstairs, a servant of the Medusa, has been turned partially to stone. Promised the ability to see her deceased family again – she’s also killed.

The Doctor and Athena are teleported to Zeus, a hologram of a being from another world, who’s ship crashed a long time ago. The ships defenses realise the Medusa is about to escape – so the self-destruct is activated. The Doctor offers to bring the Medusa to a land with abundant non-sentient life for her to feed on, but she refuses. So Athena throws the Lamp of Chronos back in her prison with her – where it will eventually be dug up by Lady Carstairs’ husband, a dabbler in antiquities. Thus the very long time loop is completed. The Doctor frees Sarah and the other statutes from stone. Just before leaving Athena introduces Sarah and the Doctor to her fiancé, Naval Lieutenant Dr. Albert Sullivan.

Gaze of Medusa gives a well-known story a bit of a twist by making the Medusa an alien, but it’s still an enjoyable tale. I liked the Professor (though he’s a bit pompous and chauvinistic – that’s very time-appropriate) and his daughter, Athena, is a character I’d like to see again. Fans of the Fourth Doctor will enjoy this graphic novel a lot. The art is also gorgeous!

Book Review – Twelfth Doctor Vol. 5 – The Twist

  • Title: The Twist
  • Authors: George Mann
  • Artists: Mariano Laclaustra, Rachael Stott, Agus Calcagno, Fer Centurion, Carlos Cabrera, Alexandre Siqueira, Rodrigo Fernandes, Thiago Ribiero, Juan Manuel Tumburus, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 12th Doctor
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Year 2, Issues # 6-10
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 1/28/2017

**spoiler alert** The Twist consists of two complete stories. In the first story, the Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi, is travelling alone after the departure of Clara, so he attends a rock concert on The Twist, a Moebius Strip-shaped colony in space. After the encounter, he goes to fanboy one of the singers, Hattie, and they are caught-up as a man is chased by the police. The man is accused of the murder of Idra Panatar, but protests his innocence, claiming mysterious monsters killed the woman. The Doctor, Hattie, and Jakob investigate the maintenance and service tunnels below the living areas of the colony. There, they encounter the Foxin – intelligent, advanced people who had, years ago, encountered the colony ship. The Doctor finds records that the colony ship had encountered a disaster and it’s sleeping colonists had died. The Foxin used their intelligence and science to clone the remains, allowing the humans to exist and to become the colony known as the Twist. Jakob it turns out had murdered Idra, because she was a reporter that had not only discovered the Foxin, but who had contacted a resistance group that was protesting the Official Foxin Policy of isolation and hiding from the humans. This group wanted to reveal themselves to the human population of the colony and live in peace with them. The Doctor organizes another rock concert, this time in a park, to reveal this information to everyone on the station. He also sees to it that Jakob is arrested for murder.

It’s an excellent story. I enjoyed very much having the “monsters” turn out to be an intelligent, helpful, science-driven species (not to mention adorably cute, because: walking, talking, bipedal foxes). And the bad guy turning out to be a fearful, racist bigot had it’s points too. Set against the backdrop of punk/heavy rock music in space – it’s an awesome story that suits the 12th Doctor.

The second story has the Doctor taking Hattie for a trip in the TARDIS. They land on a wind-swept moor and find a spooky house. The house seems to be haunted by images of children, and the clock inside is counting down from fifteen. The Doctor and Hattie discover the owner of the house, who is trying to find her children. The children went missing while playing hide-and-seek in the house which seems to be adding rooms, suddenly. The Doctor, with Hattie’s help, discovers the answer to what is happening, rescues the woman’s children and husband, and solves the issue.

In the second story, it is far too obvious just what the house is (I figured it out from the moment they encountered extra rooms and both indoor and outdoor-seeming areas.) There’s no challenge to the story. I also found it odd that the woman kept referring to “her children” and never mentioned their names. The story was a bit flat. However, it’s still a nice “contained” story – a good way for Hattie to experience time travel. After their adventure, the Doctor brings Hattie back to the Twist.

This is still a very good Doctor Who graphic novel and story. As with all the Titan Doctor Who graphic novels, the art is excellent. There’s some stunning pages and colors. I loved the first story. It’s message of tolerance and embracing those who are different is very appropriate these days. Plus, intelligent, walking, talking FOXES! I’d love to see the Foxin again. They are awesome. That the second story felt a bit like filler is somewhat of a negative, but it still had some truly amazing art. And while it didn’t feel all that original, or like a “good mystery” that’s hard to figure out, it is an enjoyable read. This volume is highly recommended.