Review: Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #2

Like a lot of other people on this side of the pond who started watching Doctor Who, my first exposure was to Ten.  Unlike a lot of others, however, I adore Nine.  One of the problems with the content of this comic is that there might actually be too much Nine. Okay, so obviously in a book with "The Ninth Doctor" in the title there ought to be a hefty dose of Nine-ishness.  But the comic raises an interesting question about how essential some necessary aspects of characterization are to the character himself.  In order to relaunch Doctor Who, we needed a new Doctor.  The post-Time-War, cheese-stands-alone Ninth Doctor filled with anger and regret was what we received.  But how essential was that fury to the man who Nine really was?  Are these iterations of the Doctor truly composed, on a deep level, of the fleeting bits of story that serve to contrast them from previous incarnations?

Doc-Who-Ninth-#2I want to say no, almost entirely because of the comic.  I want to believe that Nine was made up of more than sound and fury.  In fact, to like him at all, I need to believe that he is not just some nut with a short fuse who is disposed to go on senile, old-timer-like rants about his war tales to anyone who will listen.  I never thought about this until I read the comic and I am not sure that it is a success of the book to initiate this line of thinking in the reader.  A well-placed "Fantastic!" makes Nine just as familiar to me as any foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe about Daleks; one of those things, however, steeps the character in rage to the point of soiling him.

Where my card-carrying status as a Doctor Who nerd might sully my enjoyment of the writing in the title so far, my pictorial narrative geekery has increased my appreciation of Shedd's art on this title.  I don't think I outright said it in the last review, but I'm sure it was apparent: the photographic style of drawing is not my jam.  I will say, however, that most of the complaints I had about the first issue's art appear, by and large, to have been an issue with how that particular locale was presented.  Shedd shines as a sequential artist when there are more opportunities for repetition.  The comic had a thrilling feel to it even though essentially half of it occurs in a car (the TARDIS) and the other half at a store (a black market for time-manipulating whatsy-whozits).

I did not recommend picking up this book after issue one and though I am not completely sold, I am at least now on the fence.  If you have picked up both issues and are simply wondering whether or not to stick with it, I vote yes on seeing where this goes, especially after the noticeable improvement from issue one to issue two.

Score: 3/5

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #2 (of 8) Writer: Cavan Scott Artist: Blair Shedd Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/17/15 Format:  Mini-Series, Print/Digital