Good Comics at the Comic Shop July 23: Licensed Titles — Buffy, Doctor Who, and the Avengers

Here’s what I recommend appearing tomorrow at your local comic shop.

I’ve been impressed by how well Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 is turning out with the creators, Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs, on this current run. It’s a wonderful recreation of the strengths of the original TV show, and highly entertaining. Issue #5 (Dark Horse Comics, $3.50) concludes an arc co-written by Nicholas Brendon that establishes how the “New Rules” of magic work this time around.

Unfortunately, Steed And Mrs. Peel: We’re Needed #1 (Boom! Studios, $3.99, six-issue miniseries) isn’t as good an adaptation. Writer Ian Edginton gets the voices right, but the plot, about a village of retired spies, is too reminiscent of The Prisoner, and the art by Marco Cosentino is stiff and choppy, relying on the text to carry the story. Some of the likenesses are good, but sometimes the faces look misshapen or unrecognizable, and the fight scenes are difficult to follow. Shame, because it’s always fun to see the sparkling conversation between the two dapper Avengers. Here are a few preview pages:

Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed  #1 coverSteed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #1 page 6Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #1 page 7Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #1 page 8

Two more much-anticipated licensed comics debut this week, with Doctor Who comics for the two most popular recent incarnations of the time lord now available. Each can be chosen with a standard cover (Titan Publishing, $3.99), or your choice of five more expensive variants.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 sends a David Tennant-looking Doctor to a New York City laundromat where a young woman is struggling with the conflict between her aspirations and the pressure to be loyal to her large family and work in their business. This first issue starts a five-issue arc written by Nick Abadzis and drawn by Elena Casagrande. It’s an atmospheric story, with rich characterization (for a slightly-too-large-to-follow-easily cast) but this first chapter doesn’t have much for the Doctor to do, so I wonder at the choice. I’d rather see more with the title character out of the gate, although what is here does seem in character. Oh, and it’s the Day of the Dead and there are monsters with glowing red eyes.

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 features Matt Smith and, as with the other, new characters, not known companions. It’s written by Al Ewing and Rob Williams and drawn by Simon Fraser. In this one, a woman has spent her life taking care of her mother, but now that her mother’s dead, she’s also losing her home and her job. Then her black-and-white world turns to full color when she sees the Doctor chasing an odd beastie through town. It’s distinctly opposite to the other series, which is very much a domestic, down-to-earth, horror-in-the-everyday piece. This one emphasizes the fantastic, particularly in the visuals. It’s also a pleasure to see, in the comics, a departure from the usually mostly white cast of the TV show.

Although I liked watching the Tenth Doctor more, I liked reading the Eleventh Doctor better. There were realistic emotions, but also a good amount of humor, and I got more story in this first issue, which I thought made a better introduction. Plus, there’s a strip in the back by Marc Ellerby about Amy and Rory being parents to River going out on a date. Funny!


7 Responses to “Good Comics at the Comic Shop July 23: Licensed Titles — Buffy, Doctor Who, and the Avengers”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I know why they do it, only way to have characters they can change as part of the cast. But to kick off at least I wish the Doctor Who titles would have had familiar companions.

    I’ll probably find it easier with the 10th Doctor, as outside of Rose and Captain Jack I never cared for any of his other companions. (and I know this is where someone will pipe in but Donna was best ever! that”s cool if you feel so just never done it for me)

    The 11th though, his adventures where so tied in with the Ponds and River that it’s really hard to see him with other characters and have it feel like his Doctor stories. Perhaps if he’s stayed on longer with Clara that might have changed (I had begun to really like her near end though which makes me hopeful for next season with new Doctor)

  2. Johanna Says:

    I always liked Martha. I thought she wasn’t given the attention she deserved from anyone, though — Doctor, writers, fans.

    You hit on an area where the comics can really expand things, though — giving the Doctor a sense of age, by showing so many more adventures and companions and travels.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I appreciated Martha a lot more after she left and came back. She was her own person then I thought.

    I liked both of the Who comics, very interesting starts that I hope they can continue.

    The surprising comic this week for me was Life With Archie 37, picking up a year after his death. The death issue was really bland and I didn’t care for at all. Yet this issue was surprisingly touching, as characters talk about how Archie influenced them in a very touching fashion.

    Also, though I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. A new issue of Letter 44 came out as well which is a very interesting sci-fi series. That while there’s a great other worldly story playing out. Is driven by its human cast and how what they are dealing with effects them.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Archie is doing really surprising stuff these days by being willing to explore their history, I think.

  5. James Schee Says:

    Yeah though I’m still torn in their Afterlife series, which also came out this week with a frightening spotlight on Sabrina.

    The talent behind the series is incredible and they are doing a good job doing what they are doing. Yet there is just a part of me that finds what they are doing to these characters a little disturbing. Makes me wonder if this is how superhero comcs fans felt when they started telling more adult themed stories with them.

  6. Johanna Says:

    That’s a good comparison. At least Archie has been clear about this book not being for kids, and still putting out their classic material in other formats.

  7. Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] wasn’t as thrilled with the first issue of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor as I’d hoped to be, but the second issue assuaged many of my […]




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