With a new Doctor set to premiere on the next series of Doctor Who, Titan is releasing a tie-in comic, The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor. Until the debut of the first-ever female Doctor in the fall and a new thirteenth Doctor comic, The Road to the Thirteenth is here to tide you over.
The description from the publisher:
Continue the road to the Thirteenth Doctor with the second of three stand-alone stories featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor! The Eleventh Doctor and Alice Visit 19th Century San Francisco, but there’s just one problem – it’s full of robots! Do they come in peace? Or could their displacement in time signal something far more sinister?
This issue features Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor and comic-only companion, Alice Obiefune. Alice and the Doctor decide to take a breather from saving the universe from itself and do a little sightseeing. Of course, there’s always more to the Doctor’s motives than he lets on. None of the citizens find it strange that steampunk-inspired robots populate the city and work as butlers or dog walkers. The Doctor obviously realizes that history has been rewritten and the chances of whoever is behind the robots having a benevolent motive is rather slim.
The writing catches the feel and tone of the show, with the eleventh Doctor exhibiting all the quirks and personality of his counterpart on the TV show. Alice is a little more forgettable, as her part mostly consists of reacting and using exposition. To be fair, many episodes of the show have the Doctor’s companions behaving in the same way. It does feel like a fairly long story, which is good, as the best moments of the Doctor often have him escaping death and turning a villain’s machinations back on them, multiple times an episode. After the main story, there is a smaller episode that features the Doctor doing some yard work for old companions Amy and Rory, along with a tease that can only be assumed to be from the 13th Doctor’s storyline.
The coloring in this book surprised me with how vibrant it was. Dijjo Lima makes makes good use of the contrast too, such as the bright yellow sun setting over the deep aqua and blue of the harbor. It’s really very beautifully done and one of the high points of the issue. The artwork had lots of detail and captured the both the historical aspects of the city as well as the ’50s sci-fi-stylized robots. However the faces weren’t the best and at times the Doctor’s face seemed to flat and plain.
Is It Good?
If you’re a fan, you’ll probably pick this issue up no matter what I say. For those undecided, there really isn’t enough in the story to show what makes Doctor Who special and will come off as another run-of-the-mill sci-fi story. The art and color are the best parts of the book. For those looking to get into Doctor Who or were looking for a preview (hence, the subtitle) you’d be better off looking elsewhere.