Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 and The Eleventh Doctor #1
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 #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! (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)