Review: Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #14

Ninth_Doctor_14_A*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

The Bidding War, Part One begins in an unsettling fashion–with Rose Tyler giving birth to a purple alien baby. It turns out that she’s plugged in to a futuristic device which gives her access to “Memgram”, the 54th century equivalent of Facebook, and everyone has an account. The Doctor has a small collection of “experience spheres” which he, Rose, and Tara are using to find the legendary Jack Harkness. Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #14 kicks off a new arc in the Ninth Doctor’s story, where he and his companions are once again in over their heads, and things are going to get worse before they get better.

For those of us just tuning in, the book includes a convenient “previously on” section which explains Jack’s jumbled up timeline. The trouble with such an expansive universe is that “previously on” doesn’t really cover it without explanations of things like “who is Zloy Volk” and “how are there two Jacks” and “what’s up with Tara?”. That’s not to say this is a bad place to start for Who fans, especially those (like me) drawn to the series by Nine and Rose. If you’re completely new to Who, however, I’d

Ninth_Doctor_14_C

A more stylized approach, by Arianna Florean

suggest you start a little further back, or perhaps catch up on Nine’s original adventures on screen.

 

Once the team finds out Jack’s memories are stolen, and they’ve been set up, Nine winds up on the bidding block of an intergalactic auction. Even as a Doctor Who fan, I had a little trouble following the story in this issue, and found myself reading the book two or three times before I figured out the thread. In the past I’ve read my Who comics in trade format, and feel I’d enjoy this one more in a trade as well. The writing (Cavan Scott) was either too slow, or too fast, but until the next issue I can’t quite tell.

Another problem I have with the book, and any comic with characters based on actors, is the uncanny valley. The art is dead on in some instances, and in others doesn’t even bare a passing resemblance. If the design was consistent, it wouldn’t be as intrusive, instead it becomes a focus while reading. Artists Cris Bolson and Adriana Melo stretch their muscles in the last few pages, however, as Nine’s memories are on display for the bidders at the auction.

Story: Cavan Scott Art: Cris Bolson, Adriana Melo
Colorist: Marco Lesko Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Titan provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.