09 June 2021

Review: Doctor Who: A Matter of Life and Death by George Mann and Emma Vieceli

Every morning over breakfast, I read a single issue of a comic book. If I have one to hand, that's a hard copy comic. (Usually of late, that would be from my reading through of all of DC's post-Golden Age Earth-Two/JSA comics.) When I don't, I read a digital comic, usually from a Humble Bundle; these days, I'm reading Titan's Doctor Who comics in publication order. Things have worked out recently such that I've been reading a lot of those, and I am a bit behind on reviewing them. So starting today I catch up! If you are not interested, come back on June 28 when I review, er, a Doctor Who prose novel, or July 12 when I review, ah, um, a different Doctor Who comic. But after that things should finally get more diverse again... if you count Transformers as diverse! (Of course my Friday posts will continue their usual eclectic selection of topics.)

Collection published: 2016
Contents originally published: 2015-16
Acquired: September 2018
Read: March 2021

Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor, Vol 1: A Matter of Life and Death

Writer: George Mann
Emma Vieceli
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

The first (and so far only) volume of Titan's eighth Doctor range is another slice of perfectly adequate Doctor Who comics from Titan. George Mann has written worse stuff, and Emma Vieceli proves excellent on the artwork. A lot of the plots were decent Doctor Who ideas, but rushed or poorly implemented. Art comes to life in the first story, but so quickly we barely see its effects; in the second story we're asked to believe the best match for a race of living crystal is a race of sentient cats; the idea of a weird dimensional portal in the third seems over before it's even used; and so on. Titan's Eleventh Doctor series has done done-in-one tales much more successfully. On the other hand, I liked Mann's emphasis on the Doctor as a man trying to find peace in conflict, and Vieceli brings both Doctor and companion to life in a way utterly suited to the bouncing, emotional eighth Doctor. If there are more eighth Doctor comics (seems unlikely), get someone else to write them, but bring her back.

I read an issue of Titan's Doctor Who comic every day (except when I have hard-copy comics to read). Next up in sequence: The Tenth Doctor: Arena of Fear

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