06 October 2021

Review: Doctor Who: Growth by Rob Williams, Alex Paknadel, I. N. J. Culbard, Simon Fraser, Leandro Casco, and Wellington Diaz

Collection published: 2017
Contents originally published: 2017
Read: July 2021

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor: The Sapling, Vol 1: Growth

Writers: Rob Williams & Alex Paknadel
I. N. J. Culbard, Simon Fraser, Leandro Casco, Wellington Diaz
Colorists: Triona Farrell, Gary Caldwell
Letters: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

This volume opens "Year Three" of Titan's Eleventh Doctor ongoing, and as always, I find it excellent stuff. The opening two-parter, "Remembrance"/"The Scream" by returning writer Rob Williams with artists I. N. J. Culbard, Leandro Casco, and Wellington Diaz, takes the Doctor and Alice first to the funeral of their old friend John Jones, and then to a trap laid for them by a Silence who's so good at being forgotten that not even his own people remember who he is. As always, it's full of bonkers, delightful, dark stuff that is both very Doctor Who and nothing like the tv show. (Well, actually, it reminds me a lot of the first half of series 6's opening two-parter; "The Impossible Astronaut" is a delightfully disconcerting opening that I felt "Day of the Moon" didn't really capitalize on, and this pushes out even further in that direction.) My only complaint here is that what actually happened to the memories of the Doctor and Alice is a bit nebulous; their quest to regain them seem to be the Year Three arc, but it also seems that they remember most things!

As always, Rob Williams trades off his stories with another writer; in this case, newcomer Alex Paknadel writes "The Tragical History Tour" with returning artist Simon Fraser. Again, this is a story with an off-the-wall concept: time on Earth becomes spatialized, so you can get from one year to the next just by walking. The late 1960s start invading future years to take their stuff; the Doctor, Alice, and the Sapling bump into Alice's neighbor Kushak, all whose past selves are taking refuge in his 2015 apartment. So the Doctor, Alice, the Sapling, and all the Kushaks pile into a bus and drive back to 1968 to figure out what's going on! I enjoyed it a lot, though I did wish it was a three-parter as I felt the character(s) of Kushak kind of got lost in the midst of everything else. But this is a series that never does three-parters really, and is probably better for it; The Eleventh Doctor rockets through concepts that other Titan ongoings would probably drag out to tedium, always chasing the novelty that makes it always the best of the ongoings.

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: Facing Fate: Breakfast at Tyranny's

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