Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #9 was okay. I know that pretty much tells you everything you need to know, but I was very hopefully for this issue. It leaves the series in an interesting place, but that doesn’t help this issue as it stumbles to get there. I’m beginning to dislike Alice. She’s not growing as a character and that’s frustrating. It’s not that she hasn’t gotten over her mother’s death because that wound has been reopened, it’s her relationship with the Doctor that needs some development. I have to compare this series with Titan’s other ongoing Doctor Who series following the Tenth Doctor. It’s an issue behind and already there’s a chemistry between Gabby and The Doctor and why wouldn’t there be? He’s charismatic and swoops you off on adventures that you’d never have gone on otherwise. At this point Gabby and the future Eleventh Doctor have gone on just three adventures.
Meanwhile Alice and the Doctor have gone on several. Granted they’ve all had a unifying tie to ServeYouInc, but they’ve been different adventures overall. The problem is that Alice still doesn’t get the Doctor. She doesn’t trust the Doctor which was fine at first, but now he’s bent over backwards for her to the point of owning the majority stake in the company that hurt her… how much is enough? The logical step in the story is that by the end of the story arc she will trust him, but that means for ten issues her character will not have changed and as a reader that’s just frustrating. In real time it’s believable. In TV show time it’s believable. In comic book time… that’s almost a year and it wears you down.
The issue itself isn’t bad, but Alice is a large part of it and with this nagging personality trait brought up yet again it was hard for me to care about the events. It was hard for me to root for her and that’s the last damn thing you want with a companion. The companion is the audience/readers entry into the world of the Doctor and when you want them to leave the story because they don’t like the person that we’re basically wanting to hang out with… it sucks. We’re living vicariously through them. No one gives a crap about hanging out with any of the companions without the Doctor. Some might argue that, but if you gave anyone the option of hanging out with Rose, Amy Pond, Clara or the Doctor for the day there’s no chance in hell that someone is not picking the Doc.
The art is decent. I think this series has lacked a lot of consistency and personality to the artwork that again the Tenth Doctor has had. I understand that to keep up with the monthly the art needs to rotate, but then one artist needs to be pulled and put well into the future so that they can grow and improve and brand the art with personality. Right now it’s competent, but lacking personality and that leaves it generic feeling. The buildup for the Doctor’s new look at the end was great, the one-off panels here and there, but the finish was lackluster because of the aforementioned problems.
I’ll be back for the next issue, but this series is starting to wear thin on me and that sucks because I want to like it. I like the Eleventh Doctor and the potential for stories and different companions is greater than the other Doctors, but not if it continues as it is. It needs to grow just like Alice.