Review: Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor #4

Well now we’re cooking! I wish there had been an episode like this issue during Matt Smith’s run of Doctor Who. Al Ewing really understands the Eleventh Doctor’s personality and he uses Alice’s character to illustrate that. Speaking of Alice, what an interesting character! It’s like she’s the worst possible choice for a companion, but then also the best. I think their dynamic is great and it kind of makes me wish that there had been more time for the show to add her in real life. Oh wouldn’t it be great if they did a special and cast her for real? I can dream. With this issue we learn more about Alice’s background as we see her and her mother visiting her father’s grave. It’s an important scene as Ewing uses it to shape Alice’s character in the current timeline. In the present… that seems so dumb saying about a book dealing with time traveling, in the timeline we find our main story; Alice is wondering when the Doctor is going to take her home. The results aren’t great, but the Tardis pulls the classic “this is where you need to be” and makes sure that no paradoxes are created by Alice wanting to go home early.

The Eleventh Doctor #4 coverThey end up landing not in Alice’s apartment, but rather a hanger of our new favorite company. They seem to be having a death problem and we meet August Hart again, though he is considerably younger. He’s still a dick though. Now the Doctor, Alice and Jones (who is still hanging around) must figure out what’s “killing” people and deal with our friendly evil corporation.

In a way this story line reminds me of the River Song story line from the show in which the beginning is the end and vice versa. The Doctor and Alice continue to cross paths with this corporation, but it’s all out-of-order which I find just fascinating and cool. It opens the story up for so many different possibilities and none of them can be guessed until its right in front of you.

Since I’ve already paid the writing compliments I’m going to move on to the art work; Boo Cook joins the series with this issue and while the artwork is different it’s still in the same wheelhouse so the shift isn’t too bad. There are things that Cook does better and things that are weaker. In particular I found a lot of the backgrounds to be empty especially on the Tardis. There is an attempt at details, but when it comes to the backgrounds it’s mostly sloppy or extremely rushed looking. I hate to say it, but it takes away from the sci-fi mystique of the story.

Overall it’s a solid issue, even if the story is what saves it this time around. It’s hard not to miss the Eleventh Doctor with series floating around, but I suppose it’s better than not having it at all. If you’re still not reading Titan’s Doctor Who titles then I don’t know what to tell you. You must dislike good storytelling and interesting sci-fi inspired worlds.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Al Ewing Artist: Boo Cook Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/29/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital