Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #1 – Review

Titan Comics is branching out to publish new adventures of the Fourth Doctor, one of the most popular of the incarnations from the original British series. Titan has had hits and misses, but mostly hits, but so many people love the Fourth Doctor, can this one succeed?

Cover B Photo Subscription-Will Brooks Cover A Alice X. ZhangDOCTOR WHO: THE FOURTH DOCTOR #1

Writers: Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeby
Artist: Brian Williamson
Covers: Alice X.Zhang, photo, Brian Williamson, Jay Gunn, Matt Baxter, blank sketch
Publisher: Titan Comics
FC – 32pp – $3.99 – On Sale: March 23

Victorian England. A mysterious woman commands a hidden army in a house of the blind. Scryclops stalk the streets…. and something alien and terrible screams from prehistory – with a hunger that cannot be satisfied! The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith return for an all-new adventure: GAZE OF THE MEDUSA!

Issue #1 comes with six covers to collect:
Cover A: Alice X. Zhang
Cover B: Photo
Cover C: Brian Williamson
Cover D: Blank Sketch
Cover E: Matt Baxter
Cover F: Jay Gunn

Cover C Brian Williamson Cover D Blank Sketch Cover E Matt Baxter Cover F Jay Gunn (10 Copy Incv)

Preview Pages:

4D_01_PREVIEW 4D_01_PREVIEW2 4D_01_PREVIEW3

Review:

I really wanted to be blown away by this comic. The Fourth Doctor has a distinct charm that no other Doctor has come close to capturing, although the Tenth and Twelfth have come close. In comics, my experience with stories featuring the twelfth doctor are terribly limited, so I’m taking this strictly on the basis of how it stacks up as a good comic.

The story is intriguing and keeps a dark tone throughout. It doesn’t have the feel of a fourth doctor adventure, but does hit some points that are necessary for Doctor Who. I can’t get into those points without spoiling the story for everyone, but this does feel more like the current Doctor Who television series than any of Titan’s comics that I’ve read.

The artwork is good, but I’m turned off by the places that it appears Brian Williamson has traced stills of Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen. The scenes are adequately drawn and create a believable setting, so I can’t entirely be against Mr. Williamson’s artistic choices. The book has a consistent feel to it, and most importantly, looks and feels like Doctor Who. The Fourth Doctor is a heavy burden to try and adapt to a different medium and it is done very well here. I’m only taken out of the story in those few instances where the Artwork looks like it was traced, but I’m immediately drawn back in, thanks to a great mesh of writing and art.

If you’re being choosy about which Doctor Who titles you’re reading, then definitely give this one a try.