Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf #1 (Titan, December 2021)

Doctor Who fen also have a plethora of transmedia options available to them. Regardless of whether it's the ongoing television show -- with Jodie Whittaker's stint as the 13th Doctor coming to an end this year -- earlier series streaming on Pluto TV, the monthly magazine, Big Finish's audio dramas, media tie-in novels, or the comic books published by Titan Comics, Doctor Who fen have plenty of outlets to choose from. DOCTOR WHO: EMPIRE OF THE WOLF is a fine recent example of non-TV approaches to the Doctor Who franchise. DOCTOR WHO: EMPIRE OF THE WOLF #1 (Titan, December 2021) features the Eighth Doctor (modeled after Paul McGann) and Eleventh Doctor (modeled after Matt Smith, who recently starred in the excellent LAST NIGHT IN SOHO), Rose Tyler, and a human regeneration of the Tenth Doctor (modeled after David Tennant). So it's a bit of a mash up -- written by Jody Houser and drawn by Roberta Ingranata -- sure to please fen of multiple Doctors and seasons. The gambit of the series is that Tyler is stuck in an alternate timeline, happily married to a human regeneration of the Tenth Doctor (named John Smith) -- and a mother. After having an intense vision, she disappears and wakes up on an unknown shore. Meanwhile, Empress Rose, "glorified as the Bad Wolf Empress" in an alternate timeline and in need of assistance, sends D'Pau to find the Doctor. The Eighth Doctor arrives in the Tardis in 20th century London, where he encounters a group of Sontarans. "That's not right," he says, before leaving and meeting Tyler, whom he doesn't remember because "things in my life can happen in an odd sort of order." The Eleventh Doctor, then, is on holiday, where he also sees a group of Sontarans about to engage in battle -- and is found by D'Pau, to be brought to Empress Rose. There's a lot going on, and it's all setting up the storyline, but there's plenty to work with: a case of mistaken identity, disappearing armies, old friends meeting anew, and a world in danger. To be honest, DOCTOR WHO: EMPIRE OF THE WOLF would be a bit of a mess of a read if the characters weren't so familiar and the new pairings -- a human regeneration of the Tenth Doctor, father to Tyler's child? -- so much fun. It'll be even more of a hoot when the two Doctors come together, as portrayed on David Buisan's cover. The issue ends with a Reader's Guide offering thumbnails of collections featuring the Ninth through Thirteenth Doctors. There's plenty to dive in to; why not start with DOCTOR WHO: EMPIRE OF THE WOLF?

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