Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #1
Written by Jody Houser
Art by Rachael Stott, Giorgia Sposito, Adele Matera, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Viviana Spinelli, Sara Michieli and Andrea Moretto
Lettering by Richard Starkings, Sarah Jacobs, and John Roshell
Published by Titan Comics
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
Jodie Whittaker and her “Team TARDIS” make their comic book debut in Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #1. Written by the consistently solid Jody Houser and rendered by Doctor Who art veterans Rachael Stott and Giorgia Sposito, this debut issue stands as a breezy and charming introduction of the new Doctor and her new best friends for comic bookaudiences. Though the plot of this issue is a bit too dependant on Titan’s previous Doctor Who limited series, Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor #1 is a fun, in character first romp for Thirteen and her new companions.
After a quick cold open, writer Jody Houser throws us right into Thirteen’s ongoing tour of space with Yaz, Graham, and Ryan. Just on a character level, Houser really nails it, translating Whittaker’s infectious charm and her natural rapport with her companions really well onto the page. From the moment the Doctor asks her new friends back onto the TARDIS, Houser leans into Whittaker’s bouncy take on the Time Lord and her harried but eager friends in a way that really conjures the voices of the actors effortlessly.
Better still, Rachael Stott and colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini soak the artwork in good vibrations and eye-searing colors as she works about the TARDIS controls. Stott, who might be one of the best Doctor Who artists Titan has ever employed thanks to her ability to render actor’s likenesses, translates Whittaker’s busy hands and Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh’s warm visages throughout.
That said, I wish the issue’s plot was more substantial. While I am glad to see the rifts from the previous Titan limited series are going to get some kind of follow-up, I worry about how this will hook newer readers who might have missed it. The stuff that happens around the edges of the main story seems really fun, however. Though relegated to a framing device from the cold open, Houser introduces a pair of time-hopping treasure hunters who are seemingly hoarding vast amounts of riches for a gorgeously creepy-looking monster. And real talk, they feel a lot more interesting than the actual matter at hand — I feel like if we would have gotten a bit more of these new characters and less of the rifts, this issue would have been a real winner.
But don’t let this completely discourage you from experiencing The Thirteenth Doctor #1. Fans of the currently airing Series 11 will find a lot to love here, as will people that have been waiting patiently, but eagerly for this Team TARDIS’ comic book debut. As a single entry point into Doctor Who for new readers, this issue misses the mark a bit, but the passion and accuracy of Houser’s script and the art team’s gorgeously realized artwork makes this at least a fun read with loads of potential.