Why I Love... The Doctor Who Annual!
Hey guys, Eric here with another edition of the Why I Love Comics column. As you know, we here at this very column like to talk about things that we've either recently checked out or something we've loved for a long time as a reader,watcher, listener or collector of. By we, I mean just me of course; it would be weird if there was more than one voice in this column. This will be a quick one and is sadly not the Starman column as I promised last edition. Blame my laptop dying on me. Anyways, this week I am talking about a 48 page annual starring a man who travels through time, a man whose been asked why he sounds like he's from the north and a man who has more than 1 heart. That's right, folks, I'm talking Doctor Who and the Annual from IDW!
First in this review I'd like to commend IDW on the way they package their annuals and one shots, it's something you can either put on your bookshelf or put in with the rest of your comics. It may be 48 pages but the quality of paper as well as having an actual trade like spine is a really great idea that I wish other companies would follow up on.
There are 4 very different stories in the book, each with its own unique art style but all with the very much in style voice of the 11th doctor. The 4 stories all have different authors, one by current series writer Tony Lee, one by Matthew Dow Smith, the longest story by Joshua Hale Fialkov and one by Dan McDaid.
Each story has a unique twist to it it and is a fun done in one that doesn't really build off of the one before it. The only one that has any connection to anything is the last one and it's the shortest and feels a bit like an epilogue to the main series last arc.
My personal favorite story in the book was called "Down to Earth," which is drawn by a newcomer named Mitch Gerads and written by Matt. It features an alien who is hiding in plain sight on Earth (thanks to a perception filter of course. I swear they just hand those things out) and the Doctor is surprised by just what he finds in this creature. The reason I enjoyed the story so much is that Matt (not the actor, this one just happens to share the same name) manages to capture the Doctor perfectly. He uses his best judgment and it's some of the most fun I had with the book.
The lead story "Run, Doctor, Run" feels like it came directly from a Moffat timey wimey script. Josh's script is incredibly fun and while it does get confusing at moments, the doctors voice is still his. It's a fun little story where the Doctor lands on a world that is basically a Rembrandt painting and causes an incident that leads to a very interesting chase scene which ends with a very interesting portal like resolution. Blair Shedd's artwork is amazing here as well as it honestly looks exactly like Matt Smith's Doctor.
The third story in the book is simply called "Tuesday" and has Amy, Rory and the Doctor all in these bizarre situations that tie in together by the end of the story, it's worth it alone just to see Rory thrust into being the King of something. Not to mention Amy suddenly being in control of an Alien Battalion. Dan McDaid handles double duty as both the writer and the artist and manages to do a great job with what he writes. It feels like "A Good Man Goes to War" in the best possible sense.
The final story in the issue is called "Your Destiny Awaits" and like I said, feels like an epilogue of the last arc of the comic. Tony Lee has introduced a really fun new companion for the Doctor in Kevin the robot Tyrannosaurus Rex. Yes, you read that right, folks, the Doctor has a dinosaur along for the ride in the Tardis! It's a fun story where poor Kevin is trying his best to figure out what his place is in the universe. We see some really funny moments from the two of them teaming up and it was really great seeing Rory doing his best to help the big T-Rex fit in. (Seriously, both the main series and this annual have made me fall in love with Rory even more than I already was.)
So, verdict: if you love Doctor Who and want to see what would happen with an unlimited budget that is comic books, I'd definitely seek this annual out. You can tell each writer and each artist has an incredible love of the Doctor and his universe and honestly I haven't smiled this much at an annual in some time. IDW really knows how to handle their established properties and I cannot wait to see what Tony Lee and Matthew Dow Smith do next in the main series!
Eric Ratcliffe is a young writer/pop culture journalist/interviewer currently working on pitching a project named the Hunter chronicles. When not reading his weekly stack Eric can be found watching dvd's, playing on his 360 (gamertag: Zack Hunter) or just surfing online trying to find a scoop or two. Brand new to the Comic Related family, Eric is a fun new voice. Eric shops at TJ's Collectibles. Visit them on the web at www.tjcollect.com!
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