Comic Review: Doctor Who, Vol. 3 #4

Doctor Who, Vol. 3 #4
Written by Brandon Seifert
Art by Philip Bond and Ilias Kyriazis
Colors by Charlie Kirchoff
Cover Art by Mark Buckingham and Charlie Kirchoff
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 9, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Do you like some of that wibbly wobbly jiggery pokery stuff from the cosmos of the Time Lords? Well, the latest issue of Doctor Who Volume 3 might just be up your alley.

Issue #4 of IDW’s ongoing adaptation of Doctor Who centers in on an adventure with Amy and Rory, obviously set before their departure in the television episode of “The Angels Take Manhattan.” The finale of a two-part story, “The Doctor and The Nurse Part Two” actually stands well on its own, so newcomers won’t get too lost in the missing elements of the plot if part one remains unread.

The narrative focuses in on Amy Pond deciding that The Doctor and Rory need a “boys’ night out,” while she takes in the sights of England in October 1814. Taking on plot devices used countless times in years gone by throughout all forms of media, the “boys’ night out” becomes a farce and comedy of errors, amusing at times, with the pair coming across all kinds of mad situation. In reality, this is never the case; it always entails some male bonding that usually includes lifting heavy objects up and putting them down again.

However consider the two characters for a moment, and you will find that the last thing close to a “boys’ night out” they had was when the Doctor popped out of the cake at Rory’s bachelor party down at the pub.

In the intervening time (does that phrase even work for a review of a comic about time travel?); fate has other plans for Amy Pond. For the time period she in happens to be October 17th, 1814.

Doesn’t ring any bells?

It is the date of the London Beer Flood. Yes, this is actually a real thing. Yes, I had to look it up in Wikipedia.

And, actually, so does Amy Pond, on her phone. Don’t ask – wibbly wobbly jiggery pokery stuff.

Fundamentally, the plot is a lighthearted adventure for the trio, while Amy is stuck saving London from a tsunami of beer, and the Doctor and Rory get stuck in all kinds of ridiculous situations, which also happens to involve a cameo appearance from King Kong.

Again, don’t ask – wibbly wobbly jiggery pokery stuff.

The storyline by Brandon Seifert is relatively solid, and enjoyable. It’s most certainly worth a read if you are a Whovian, though like me, you will pick up on one element that pulled me out of the story completely. In one frame, a small London child calls for his/her mother, bellowing the phrase: “MOMMY!” Wait a second”¦ “Mommy”??? Since when is that specific pronunciation used in Doctor Who outside of America?

I have a little difficulty with this, but it’s one of those obsessive and anal geek things: Doctor Who, as it has been for 50 years, has been a rock solid corner of British culture. People in England don’t call out for Mommy, they call out for Mummy! Recall “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances” during the Christopher Eccleston era: “Are you my Mummy?” This shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, and for most readers, they’ll just slide right past it.

The art gang of Philip Bond, Ilias Kyrazis, and Charlie Kirchoff is of a good standard, with emphasis placed more on establishing the quality of the visuals of the story as opposed to creating cloned likenesses of actors Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill. This performs quite well, because the characters gel seamlessly into the flow of the story, with some frames clearly paying some tips of the hats to many forms of artwork across a variety of media.

“The Doctor and The Nurse” is an evenhanded story, with some amusing moments, but dares to question what if we ever saw just Rory and the Doctor on an adventure. I’m warm to this idea, and I think it’s one of those opportunities that Steven Moffat overlooked during the Amy/Rory era of Doctor Who. In fact, there has been a strong over-reliance on female companions not only in the recent history of the series, but for nearly 30 years.

Arthur Darvill performed the first long-term male companion role (excluding the short term companion roles of Adam the idiot with a hole in his head now, and the enviable Captain Jack Harkness) since Mark Strickson’s portrayal of Vislor Turlough who left the classic serials in 1984. I have nothing against the female companions of Doctor Who, in fact quite the opposite; I love “˜em, but it’s been an extremely long time since the Doctor has had an awesome bromance in the TARDIS.

Science fiction fans in general might want to take a glance at this issue of Doctor Who, but the hardcore Whovians will get the most enjoyment out of it. It is fun; it’s ridiculous; it has King Kong and beer.

Then again, don’t ask – just pick it up if you like that wibbly wobbly jiggery pokery stuff.

Overall Rating: 3½ out of 5

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