OUT TODAY - REVIEW - Doctor Who: Four Doctors Issue #2 "Their Fate Is Sealed"

The second issue of the weekly Doctor Who comic book adventure Doctor Who: Four Doctors is out in comic stores and online today. The five-part story, written by Doctor Who novelist and screenplay writer Paul Cornell and drawn by DC and Marvel artist Neil Edwards celebrates the end of the first year of ongoing adventures of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in their respective Titan series. The three incarnations of the Time Lord are drawn together by a shocking past event to fight an unseen foe with all of them in its sights.

Doctor Who: Four Doctors
The story so far
Clara came across a mysterious ‘Time Shelter’ containing a photo of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors together – a meeting that would supposedly lead to the end of all things! Wanting to prevent this, Clara took the TARDIS to Paris, 1923, to a time when all three Doctors and their companions would be in the same city – and the same cafĂ©. Warning Gabby and Alice, Clara tried to stop the Doctors meeting... but failed! After some argument, the Tenth and Twelfth Doctors touched - sparking the Blinovitch Limitation Effect, a flash of temporal energy. That’s when the Reapers, antibodies of time paradoxes, attacked!

Issue #2 - Review
The Tenth Doctor's companion Gabriella Gonzalez is wondering, not unreasonably, why it is that the Doctor doesn't get on with his other incarnations. He's the same man, after all, surely he would enjoy his own company. But as we know well, that isn't the case, and besides, half the fun of any multi-Doctor story is in the friction between the different versions of the Time Lord. Writer Paul Cornell, a lifelong devotee of the show, has brilliantly captured the three Doctors’ different voices and their inevitable personality clashes as they struggle to agree on a solution to their imminent cleansing by the Reapers. And then there are the moments when three minds snap together in an instant of genius; in those instances the reader is reminded that this is fundamentally the same man.

Cornell has also done a fantastic job in not only juggling the three versions of the Doctor but also in giving his companions their voices. And where Clara’s role is easily pinned to Jenna Coleman’s onscreen performance, the two comic book characters of Gabby and Alice are perhaps less easy to define, so it’s good to see that their individual characters and strengths are coming through loud and clear. At the same time Neil Edwards is producing some fantastic renditions of David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, right down to gestures and facial expressions. He also has had his work cut out to create the artwork - three separate TARDIS interiors, the streets of Paris, the blighted desert of Marinus among them – and has rendered some superbly detailed backdrops for the action. The TARDIS scenes particularly feel like home.

The adventure continues briskly from the cliffhanger ending of Issue 1 as the Doctors begin to realise that this is more than a chance crossing of the timelines that brings them together, and the pace barely lets up. The Doctors’ ingenuity may have got them out of immediate danger but what they have failed to realise is that they are actually pawns in a much more complicated game, caught up in an elegant causal loop, a trap set by an enemy who knows that the Doctor’s inability to walk away from a puzzle will always lead him into danger. And while none of the Doctors have any recollection of the event in their pasts that triggered the trap, they all do have an inkling that it might be linked to the Time War. Are their paths about to cross with another of their former selves? 

Issue #2 is available in comic stores now. It can also be purchased directly from Titan Comics or as a digital download through ComiXology. The issue is available with three different covers: a Tenth Doctor artwork cover, a Tenth Doctor photographic cover and a Companions cover featuring Gabby Gonzalez. 

The adventure continues on Wednesday 26th August.