Art by Alessandro Vitti & Ivan Rodriguez
Titan, out now
The Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors encounter foes from their past…
The Cybermen are an intriguing race in Doctor Who. The Daleks may have certain… discontinuities within their history, but overall they’re pretty much presented in a consistent way. That’s never been the case with the Cybermen – right from their second appearance in The Moonbase, they’ve looked different, behaved differently, and had multiple different origins. The new series gave them an alternate universe reboot, but somehow that’s drifted across into the main timeline; the Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly/Magazine strip has presented them in a much more glorious way – something that Neil Gaiman picked up on in Nightmare in Silver – but also as the descendants of the Voord. It means that, despite their many appearances to date, clever writers can find something new to do with them without it feeling as out of place as it would with one of the Doctor’s other enemies.
We’re not quite sure where George Mann and Cavan Scott are taking the cyborgs in this story quite yet – they’re a behind the scenes presence (okay, they’re the antagonists, but we don’t actually see them) for one Doctor, and there’s a great reveal at the end of the episode (or it would be if it hadn’t been spoiled here there and everywhere) involving them and another incarnation – but given who they’re working with, it doesn’t bode well for the universe.
The issue very much feels like the start of a TV multi-Doctor epic, with each of our Time Lords and their relevant companions caught up in something that doesn’t quite make sense. As with those stories, you get the feel that you’re only getting a glimpse of the actual adventure that each Doctor is involved with – sort of dropped in just before the cliffhanger, so to speak – but it’s enough to engage with each of them.
Artwork duties are shared across the issue, which (I suspect inadvertently) adds to the feeling of different eras of the show coming together; the 12th Doctor does look a bit like a vampire in places and it would have helped if the same artist had done all of his pages. However, there’s an energy running through the whole issue to match the text and a very good use of reference material for the various pieces of technology.
Verdict: A good start that should bring you back in a fortnight for the resolution of the many cliffhangers! 8/10