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 – 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.

Book Review – Twelfth Doctor Vol. 4 – The School of Death

  • Title: The School of Death
  • Author: Robbie Morrison
  • Artists: Rachael Stott, Simon Fraser, Ivan Nunes, Marcio Menys, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 12th Doctor
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Year 2, Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 9/18/2016

**spoiler alert** The School of Death starts off the second year of Titan Comics Twelfth Doctor Doctor Who graphic novel series. It features the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi and his companion, Clara. This graphic novel features two stories.

In the first story, Clara receives an urgent message from a friend of hers, a young teacher who had gotten her “dream job” teaching at an exclusive private school in Scotland called Ravenscaur. Clara goes to investigate and is soon joined by the Doctor. The school has a spooky air, stuck-up students, and a horrible headmistress – but that’s normal. What’s less normal is that the school, which is on an Island, has housed a colony of Sea Devils for generations. The Sea Devil eggs bond with the students while they are at the school, then go on to influence policy as business and political leaders. Their influence, however, will help their own plans to conquer the Earth. Clara, the Doctor, two students who have not been taken over and are fairly normal, and eventually UNIT must stop the Sea Devils. It’s an excellent story with marvelous art.

The second story begins by breaking the fourth wall as the Doctor addresses the reader of the comic book. The story brings back the Boneless who are attacking readers of comics and trapping them inside comic books. It’s a fun story, and has a great conclusion for how the Doctor frees the captives and defeats (for now) the Boneless.

The School of Death is highly recommended. I enjoyed it a lot. I also really liked that the stories were concluded in this issue.

Book Review – Doctor Who Twelfth Doctor Vol. 3 – Hyperion

  • Title: Hyperion
  • Authors: Robbie Morrison, George Mann
  • Artists: Daniel Indro, Mariano Laclaustra, Ronilson Freire, Slamet Mujiono, Luis Guerrero, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 12th Doctor
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 11-15
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 6/02/2016

Titan Comics Doctor Who graphic novels are excellent and enjoyable and this one is no exception. Hyperion features the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi, and his companion, Clara. It’s the third volume in the Twelfth Doctor series, and this particular one features two stories.

In the first story, the TARDIS lands right in the path of a young woman and her companion – in 1845. The woman’s name is Charlotte and her friend is Emily, and Charlotte’s horse is startled by the TARDIS’s sudden appearance, causing her to fall and twist her ankle. The Doctor and Clara take the two women to a nearby manor house. There they discover the servants are succumbing to a “sleeping sickness” and also that the normally agoraphobic head of household who’s suddenly decided to have a large party. Of course, an alien is responsible for the sleeping sickness and the Doctor and Clara must stop it and see to it the members of the household are all right. And guess who Charlotte is?

The second story brings back the Hyperios from a previous graphic collection – this time they attack Earth. The story also features Kate Stewart, UNIT, and a one-story companion name Fireman Sam. I really liked Sam, so it’s sad that he’s a one-off companion. The story was excellent though.

The artwork in this volume is extremely good – especially in the second story, where the Hyperios Empire characters leap off the page.

Highly recommended.

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.

Book Review – Twelfth Doctor Vol. 1 – Terrorformer

  • Title: Terrorformer
  • Author: Robbie Morrison
  • Artists: Dave Taylor, Mariano Laclaustra, Hi-Fi, Luis Guerrero, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 12th Doctor
  • Characters: Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald
  • Collection Date: 2015
  • Collected Issues: Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 9/14/2015

The title of this graphic novel is Terrorformer and it includes the first five issues of Titan Comics 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) series. This is my favorite I’ve read so far of the Titan Comics Doctor Who series. But the graphic novel title should be included in the book title GoodReads!

The graphic novel contains two very different stories featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara. In the first story, the Doctor promises to take Clara someplace she can practice her downhill snow skiing – only to land in a jungle. The ice giant planet is being terraformed into a luxury planet for the super-rich (It seems someone has read Douglas Adams.) However, something is going wrong – setting the very planet on the terraforming crew.

The story then introduces a fascinating species, something you simply couldn’t do on television, the Hyperions of Hyperios, a race of sentient suns. Once, they had helped other civilizations – bringing them into the light figuratively and literally. But when their own civilization was threatened they became the scourge of the galaxy, destroying the very civilizations they had once helped by draining their suns to prolong their own lives – leaving the civilizations in the cold and dark to die. The Time Lords stepped in and fought the Hyperions. Yet the terraforming machine sent to the planet had found one of the suns – awakening it and causing it to attack on a physical and genetic level. – Fascinating!

The second story weaves a plot that skips from India of the past to India of the future and it’s City in Space. It weaves a tale of an alien posing as Kali – and dark magic. This story wasn’t as good as the first, but it stayed out of complete cliche’ territory and presented some interesting ideas and one-off characters.

Besides two good stories, and some truly fantastic art, this graphic novel also gets the characters – both regular and guest – pretty much perfect. The second story actually had stronger characterization than the first. The Doctor is a bit gruff around the edges – but it’s in keeping with the writing and characterization in “Deep Breath” which was probably all the author and comics company had to go on.

Highly recommended!

Book Review – Eleventh Doctor Vol. 4 – The Then and the Now

  • Title: The Then and the Now
  • Authors: Si Spurrier and Rob Williams
  • Artists: Simon Fraser, Warren Pleece, Gary Caldwell, Hi-Fi, Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
  • Line: 11th Doctor
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Alice Obiefune, The War Doctor, Abslom Daak
  • Collection Date: 2016
  • Collected Issues: Year 2, Issues # 1-5
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/30/2016

Titan Comics Doctor Who: The Then and the Now starts off it’s collection of the second year of their adventures of the Eleventh Doctor as played by Matt Smith on the BBC television series, and his companion Alice Obiefune. This story mentions the Time War and glimpses of the War Doctor (as portrayed by John Hurt) occur throughout the book. But I was expecting to see the Eleventh Doctor and the War Doctor meet – or at least a full flashback and that didn’t happen.

However, even though at times the story was confusing, and it ended on a cliffhanger, it was still a good book – exciting, with excellent characterization, and beautiful art.

This story also brings in Abslom Daak from Doctor Who Magazine and is used with permission. Daak’s a chainsaw (chain sword) wielding Dalek-killing mercenary – and an odd choice for a one-time companion.

I think this story will be interesting once it gets going, however, this particular story felt like a very confused beginning, and it had no end because of the cliff-hanger. I’m thinking that Year 2 for the Eleventh Doctor will be like Year One, in that it’s mostly a single story.

Update/Note: I have read volumes five and six, and volume six is reviewed on GoodReads; however, I want to post my reviews here on WordPress in order as much as possible. Therefore, I will re-read volume five and probably volume six as well and then post my reviews.