Well, it finally came. IDW's first issue of Doctor Who. What did I think? Honestly, it was no great shakes. It wasn't bad. But it definitely didn't knock my socks off. Which if there is anything I can say about recent premieres of Doctor Who... it is that they knock my socks off. Last series for example, loved it. Suspense, comedy, great showing off of the companion.
This issue by comparison, didn't even feel like it was trying. As if there was never a goal to have the audience captivated and on the edge of their seat. I came into the series a bit uneasy, I will be the first to admit, the art didn't thrill me. But I kept that out of my mind. I am a story first type of person anyway. Parts of this were good, but set off on their own. The history retelling on the first page... bits about the Tardis. Occasionally a line of dialogue would fit.
I have always taken DW too seriously. If not for the actors delivery I might see bits of the show in an entirely different light. But this... well, let me give you an idea of the lofty goal of the Doctor and Martha... to find the perfect milkshake. Which apparently, was the whole reason he is keeping her with him, because she has yet to find perfection. That little deal seems to have slipped my mind entirely.
Now, the Doctor is prone to flights of fancy for nonsensical reasons sometimes as well, I grant you. But spanning galaxies and time for a chocolate fix? Setting this aside for a bit. We find an alien shape shifter keeping close tabs on... well someone. The Doctor is tipped off to this fellow, by the fact that he appears to be a sweating lizard alien. Which the Doctor says Lizards should not do... so the Gizou (shape-shifting alien) runs off to report of his tab keeping. To someone?
I should say that I didn't follow this story very well. Which will become clearer as we continue on. I liked the alien in his lizard form and his normal form. The cartoony exaggerated style of the artist suited it, I thought. That alien is killed by a whip which well turns people to dust or ash, or whatever it is that such weapons of villainy turn lifeforms too.
It isn't too long before the Doctor catches up after hearing a scream. He is then ambushed, and taken by our shadowy bad guy. Who, of course, wants nothing to do with Martha. We learn he is a Sycorax. And though he has no use for Martha, he takes her back to his humble cave anyway. And we learn that evil loves a back story.
Syc likes to take beings that are the last of their race, and then sell them to other aliens to kill. The taking the last of their race thing kind of already bored me, I have seen it in Superman, and thus far, they weren't doing anything more than talking about it. This is where I get confused again, Syc has the shape-shifters so that he doesn't actually have to kill the last of each race. I didn't rush through this, really. But it still lost me, he has the beings in pods, now whether that is the shape shifters or the last aliens. I can't be sure. Anyway, just as Martha gets frustrated, the Doctor tugs on her leg and tells her to keep him talking. So she starts telling him he doesn't want the Doctor, the doctor runs like a girl, etc., etc. That part I took as humorous. She does this, and the Doctor takes this time to... stand up. No, seriously.
The Sycorax flails his electric whip at the Doctor, who grabs it, and tells him he isn't impressed that he could take the only survivor of a wonderful race who died when their sun exploded. He disables the whip with his sonic screwdriver (yay!) then Syc comes at with a sword... which he shatters in a very big display with the screwdriver again. Martha kicks a staff and breaks it in half for good measure. The Doctor tells him they broke all his weapons and to head home. but then proceeds to talk about how the Sycorax are (according to legend) going to be one of the last three races when the universe dies. Humans are one of the other two.
The Doctor sets the ship on course to a research planet that will help all the captives, and also puts in a message that will inform the captives and researchers of what has happened. And decides to take the bad guy with him, near as I can tell. But the bad guy goes back to his ship to get at the technology the Doctor used to reroute the ship. Makes no sense to me, he was going to a whole Tardis of technology... but ah well. The Doctor and Martha leave and the villain gets the tiny piece of technology only to have it break apart in his hands. And all the cages open up so the captives can destroy him. And the Doctor has taken Martha home so he can grow a sonic screwdriver. He says something is not good... but the background seems pleasant enough, must be something off-camera... to be continued.
Felt too short as well. This was an alright issue, I guess. Would have made good filler after a few issues in, would have been nice to feel like the Doctor was in any danger at all, or maybe that this could have tugged at his solitude a bit. But let's be frank, it's a debut issue. It's 3.99. At this point I didn't really expect, want, or deserve filler. In contrast, I have been paying that much for the Marvel reprints and have been enjoying that more.
The art is great, the stories have some punch, and there is a real sense of exploration and danger with a good dose of humor. There is some silliness and a it can be a tiny bit dated, but I really enjoy it. Had you asked me before either came out, I would have predicted dropping the classic stories and sticking with the modern take which holds a much greater familiarity for me.
I will stick with this book though, I am waiting for the new artist, and honestly I have already ordered the next two issues anyway. But as of right now, the new TV series just can't come fast enough. When the best part is being reminded of an inside joke "Police box? Don't ask..." between a friend and I... there is something wrong with your series.