04 August 2021

Review: Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen by Cavan Scott & George Mann, Ivan Rodriguez, Walter Geovanni, et al.

Collection published: 2017
Contents originally published: 2016
Acquired: September 2018
Read: May 2021

Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen

Writers: Cavan Scott & George Mann
Ivan Rodriguez & Walter Geovanni, with Alessandro Vitti & Tazio Bettin
Colorists: Nicola Righi with Erica Eren Angiolini
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt
Event Teasers Art by Dan Boultwood, Andrew Pepoy & Jason Millet, Mike Collins, Blair Shedd, Simone De Meo & Arianna Florean, Stephen Byrne, Simon Myers, Lee Sullivan & Luis Guerrero, and Rachael Stott & Marcio Menys

Like Four Doctors the year before it, this crosses over all of Titan's ongoing comic series, which now includes the ninth Doctor in addition to the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. It takes a very different structure, though; while Four Doctors had its three Doctors meet up by the end of the first issue and then treated them like a team, the four Doctors in Supremacy of the Cybermen never actually meet. Instead, each is involved in a parallel adventure of the Cybermen taking over the universe with Time Lord technology: the ninth Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack battle them on the Powell Estate; the tenth Doctor, Gabby, and Cindy encounter them at war with the Sontarans; the eleventh Doctor and Alice discover them in the Silurian era; and the twelfth Doctor visits Gallifrey to discover the root of the problem.

The issue this causes is that since each Doctor gets a totally separate story, they in effect each get just one issue of story. Only that one issue of story is spread across five issues, making it feel like nothing is actually happening, because when you finish an issue, each Doctor has experienced just one-quarter of an issue of events. The end result is a five-issue collection where nothing happens: the ninth, tenth, and eleventh Doctors each have very simple battle with the Cybermen; the twelfth Doctor resets it all. The end. Even though it reads fast, I quickly came to dread reading it, so little did I enjoy it.

(Weird that when the Cybermen take over Gallifrey again in "Ascension of the Cybemen," the Doctor doesn't mention that she just went through this!)

from Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #4
(art by Lee Sullivan)
Titan also did one-page preludes for the pre-ninth Doctors, showing what happened to each of them in the aberrant timeline where the Cybermen took over the universe. These set the stage for the main story... but for some reason the collected edition puts them all at the back! One of the cool things about reading in PDF is that I just moved them all to the front and read them first, as was clearly meant to be. They are fine, mostly noteworthy because Titan gets in some good artists for them, especially Mike Collins and Lee Sullivan.

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 Ninth Doctor: Official Secrets

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