Doctor Who The Fifteenth Doctor 1 comic cover by Joshua Swaby
(Image Source: Titan Comics / Joshua Swaby)

Comic Review – Doctor Who: The Fifteenth Doctor #1 Just What The Doctor Ordered

Titan Comics has a tremendous track record when it comes to Doctor Who. Over the past decade, the publisher has released a number of comics detailing the many lives of the Time Lord. The new Fifteenth Doctor series continues this trend, with great writing elevating its artwork.

Picking up where the 2024 Free Comic Book Day special left off, Doctor Who: The Fifteenth Doctor #1 opens in media res. The Last Time Lord and Ruby Sunday, are tracking the origins of a Cyberman weapon found in the 18th century. This leads them to a 29th century shopping mall.

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The Time Lord says this was when humanity abandoned the Earth as uninhabitable. Despite this, there are still a number of people happily living their lives out in the mall. At the same time, our heroes are observed by an unseen villain. Unsurprisingly, there are also Cybermen in the mall’s lower levels, ready to convert the last humans on Earth.

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Doctor Who: The Fifteenth Doctor good, but not fantastic

The script by Dan Watters perfectly captures the spirit of the show and the voices of the characters. A shopping mall full of Cybermen is a new take on the classic “base under siege” plot that was used throughout the Classic Series. However, Watters also gets in some timely social commentary, with a conspiracy theorist who refuses to leave Earth despite the toxic atmosphere because they don’t believe spaceships are safe.

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The art, sadly, is the series’ Achilles heel. Kelsey Ramsay is a fine artist, but a poor caricaturist. His takes on The Doctor and Ruby Sunday have only a passing resemblance to Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson. This is something of a step down from earlier Titan Comics Doctor Who comics, where the character designs were spot-on. Thankfully, the action of the book is well-defined and exquisitely detailed at times. Unfortunately, that detail is often lost past the middle distance.

Ultimately, Doctor Who: The Fifteenth Doctor #1 is a solid tie-in comic. It won’t silence the doomsayers who have predicting the death of the Doctor for many years now. It will, however, please fans looking for more adventures as they wait for the next batch of new episodes.

Grade: 4/5.

Doctor Who: The Fifteenth Doctor #1 arrives in comic shops everywhere on June 26, 2024.