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Monday, July 19, 2010

Doctor Who Annual 2010 (IDW)

"I'm the Doctor."~The Doctor

Cover: Kelly Yates

"Ground Control"
Story: Jonathan L. Davis
Art:  Kelly Yates
Colors: Phil Elliott
Letters: Robbie Robbins and Neil Uyetake

"The Big, Blue Box"
Story and Art: Matthew Dow Smith
Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
Letters: Neil Uyetake

"To Sleep, Perchance to Scream"
Story, Art, and Colors: Al Davison
Letters: Neil Uyetake

"Old Friend"
Story: Tony Lee
Art: Matthew Dow Smith
Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
Letters: Robbie Robbins

Comic Book Week: July 14, 2010

This week, Kara's (my 9,9 ) pick is something a little bit different. My friend (hi, Christina! ;-*) ) asked me to review IDW's Doctor Who. She's (I think!) a big fan and was surprised that there was a current American comic based on the character. Honestly I was too when I came across the annual at my LCBS (local comic book shop, d'uh! 9,9 ). See I haven't really been a big fan for very long, but then my boyfriend got me hooked on the most current season and I have been catching up.......although I have a long way to go! You see, if you don't know Doctor Who is a British sci-fi series that has more or less been on television since 1963.......ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY! ( 8-O ) That's three years before the first Star Trek went on the air!! And in that time, if shows like Star Trek & the X-Files have influenced modern life, Doctor Who is what influenced them! (Not to spoil anything, but--SPOILER ALERT--in the most recent episode of the television show that I have seen, an OLD villain of the Doctor, the Cybermen, say, "Prepare to be assimilated." Sound familiar? ツ).

Quick background: the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey. He is over 900 years old and travels through time and space in the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which looks like an old-timey blue British Police Box (phone booth) on the outside and Legion of Super-Heroes HQ on the inside. The Doctor can be 900 years old because occassionally he regenerates into a new form enabling a new actor to take the role. He will be able to do this 11 times before he finally dies (and we're currently on the 11th Doctor so it will be interesting to see what happens!). The Doctor generally picks a human Companion to accompany him on his adventures, which in addition to three television series (one animated) have been chronicled in any number of novels (graphic & otherwise), several films, on the web, and in audio plays, as well as several spin-offs. The IDW comic book series tells of the 10th Doctor played by David Tennant (he also played Barty Crouch, Jr., in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The series is characterized by low budget special effects but screamingly good scripts and plots that make it all seem natural.

The first story in this anthology, "Ground Control", opens with a floating Panda. If you are familiar with the Doctor at all, this is not surprising. The Doctor has been apparently grounded by an authority that has taken control of the TARDIS. The art in this story is fantastic, including the coloring, depicting Mr. Tennant almost perfectly, but the story is mostly just a background of the Doctor. The cute Pandas help though ツ. The story misses a Companion though, as the Doctor's human assistants are what ground him and allow his quirkiness, what being a Time Lord and all, to shine through. Also hurting the story is a panorama of the Doctor's enemies that DOESN'T INCLUDE THE DALEKS (they're like a race of evil R2D2's)! Sacrilege! (Probably IDW doesn't have the license......booo!)

The second story, "The Big, Blue Box", is sortof centered around a new Companion, for this story at least. The Companion turns out to be more than human and very important to two alien races. As is typical of Doctor Who, the Doctor pretty much just helps him help himself. This is probably the strongest story of the book in the art and story, with the art being a little more stylized than in the first tale, and the story a little more active and human. The color was a little inconsistent, very dark in some seens and almost distractingly bright in others.

The third story, "To Sleep, Perchance to Scream", tells the tale of the Doctor having a dream. The art is very pretty and painted, but there is no story really. But we do get a surprise cameo by the 11th Doctor (played by Matt Smith, the man who made me love bowties!)!

The fourth and final story, "Old Friend", feels more like a classic time travel story, where the Doctor meets a future Companion for the first time.....of course, the Companion remembers the Doctor from his own past. They talk and something happens to the Companion that isn't really surprising, but I won't spoil it. It's very short, kindof touching, and leads directly into Doctor Who #13. The art is nice, but I personally preferred the other three stories' art, possibly because the color was a little bit muddies than in the others.

The lettering is well done and suitable in all four tales.

Overall this squarebound book is great for Doctor Who fans and could probably at least interest some non-fans into taking the TARDIS for a spin.........but the $8 price point is just ouch! I mean, I don't usually stick on the price........I've never mentioned in this blog before..........but this book isn't really much longer than an average book, it doesn't have any really big name creators, the character's not that well known to a lot of the fans that are going to see it and one would think that IDW is hot enough to drop that price a bit! That doesn't really make sense! But it does have a flying Panda holding an arrow..........so...............

RATING: 7 flying pandas (sooooo cute ツ♥) out of 10

Once again thank-you for reading. I got a lot of the background for this week from the Doctor Who Wiki-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who#Dr._Who_films, and please visit the lovely & talented Aurey Sorrow/Christina Nabity's website at http://bentrealm.com/.

And one last link to one of the best Doctor Who Trailers........"Blink".......don't ;-*):

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