by Sadie Keljikian

9D-Ongoing-01-Cover-A-Shea-Standefer-675x1024Ninth Doctor #1

Writer: Cavan Scott

Artist: Adriana Melo

Publisher: Titan Comics

The dream-team of the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness are together again in Cavan Scott’s new adventure! This time, the story begins with the three attempting to guard the universe from the horrors of the Time War using temporal beacons.

In their attempts to secure the beacons, an unexpected breech interrupts the process. When the team use the TARDIS to investigate, they find a situation for which none of them are prepared: fandom! The first person they meet on the strange planet of Gharusa Prime is a young alien woman named Yani who immediately fangirls all over them. She starts SQUEEING, asking to take a selfie, and telling them she’s “dying” over encountering the group. Soon, we see a video of the Doctor in a dramatic scene with “Penny, his companion” and it becomes clear that in this world, the Doctor is massively famous as a hero and performer, both in real life and on TV.

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The depiction of an overwhelmed fan in the context of a comic can be incredibly gratifying, as those who love the current run of Ms. Marvel already know. As a member of several fandoms who often has trouble containing her feels, Yani’s character appealed to me immensely.

As the story continues, we discover that this world is patrolled by Chumblies, armored, flying beings reminiscent of the Daleks. Those who remember  the Classic Who TV series will be familiar with the referenced robots, but the Doctor contends that these specimens differ greatly from actual Chumblies. The mystery grows deeper when the group is ambushed by an airship containing what appears to be the Doctor. While our hero pursues his look-alike, this other Doctor launches EMP mines to take out the faux-Chumblies in an apparently friendly gesture.

Meanwhile, Rose is on the trail of “Penny,” the other Doctor’s companion who’s been taking pictures of the Doctor, Rose and Jack in the midst of all the madness. When she too crosses paths with into the other Doctor, only then do his true motivations and identity become clear.

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Adriana Melo’s artwork shows intimate knowledge of the characters and setting. The characters are expressive in a way that’s instantly recognizable as consistent with the television series and these actors. Their movement is beautifully realized and constant,  and pulls the reader further into the story. Those who love Who will appreciate the outrageous amount of running and persistent action throughout.

With this fan-favorite trio at the helm and a playful poke at nerd culture, this story is likely to entertain and delight Whovians both old and new.

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