22 September 2015

Review: Doctor Who: Sky Jacks! by Andy Diggle & Eddie Robson, Andy Kuhn, et al.

Comic PDF eBook, 108 pages
Published 2013 (contents: 2012-13)
Acquired May 2014
Read November 2014
Doctor Who, Volume 3: Sky Jacks!

Written by Andy Diggle & Eddie Robson and Len Wein
Art by Andy Kuhn and Matthew Dow Smith
Colors by Charlie Kirchoff and Adrian Salmon
Lettering by Shawn Lee

For the first three chapters, this is classic Doctor Who: the Doctor and Clara (yay!) end up in an infinite sky, where they fall in with the crew of a British bomber from World War II. It's a very cool, sprawling world, and it's very fun-- thanks especially to the art of Andy Kuhn, who eschews dull tie-in realism for a more cartoony style to good effect. His Clara Oswald may not look like Jenna-Louise Coleman, but she does look like Clara. There are a lot of cool visuals and neat ideas here, plus dogfights, and what's more exciting than that?

It all crashes down in chapter four, though, when it's revealed who's behind it all-- tying back in to Andy Diggle's first story in The Hypothetical Gentleman. (The book credits Andy Diggle and Eddie Robson with writing; I'd guess Eddie Robson scripted it from a plot by Diggle, whose presence on the book has been inconsistent at best.) Unfortunately, it's a maniacally evil Matrix, having escaped the destruction of Gallifrey. There's potential here-- the Doctor vs. the dead memories of his race-- but it comes across as an excuse for continuity (there are tie-ins to The Deadly Assassin, The End of Time, and "The Day of the Doctor") and really it could be the Doctor fighting any evil robot spider. I really like Eddie Robson as a writer, but this final chapter does not play to his strengths.

Finally, there's a short tale by Len Wein and Matthew Dow Smith: "In-Fez-Station!" The Doctor, Amy, and Rory fight the Slitheen while wearing fezes at the Fez Music Festival in Fez, Morocco. It's fun.

Next Week: Tony Lee returns (and so does Clara) as the TARDIS visits the Old West in Dead Man's Hand!

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