“Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 marks the return of writer Cavan Scott, who penned a decent “Ninth Doctor” miniseries back in 2015. Easily the most tragic incarnation of The Doctor, the Ninth Doctor grappled with accepting of legacy in 2005’s “Doctor Who,” where he was joined by a young human woman named Rose Tyler as well as immortal Time Agent Captain Jack Harkness. Taking place somewhere between Rose’s debut and Jack receiving the gift of immortality, Scott and Adriana Melo’s ongoing series begins as the trio escapes a hungry alien worm and begins a search for Time War relics.
As the Ninth Doctor deals with his leftover emotional baggage from the Time War, the T.A.R.D.I.S. picks up a signal from a Time War relic, which sends him and his companions out to investigate. Scott continues to capture the essence of the characters so well you can practically hear the actors’ voices, especially when The Doctor gets grumpy. Scott’s tongue-in-cheek humor pokes light-hearted fun at fandom and celebrity-obsessed society in general by including a smattering of teen terminology, like “feels” and the social media website “Stumblr.”
Fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled, “Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 reads like a fun, episodic adventure. There is a nice through-line between the show and this comic, and — while the issue hits a lot of familiar beats — not once is Scott’s writing stale. If there’s one con, it’s that the murkiness of the timeline may be off-putting for new readers. However, since this is a timey-wimey “Doctor Who” story, we can safely assume that things like Jack’s mind-wipe and the series’ place in the scheme of the show will be explained in later issues.
Where the previous miniseries relied heavily on photo reference, “Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 marks a nice change of pace with Melo’s cartoony style. The cast is recognizable, yet distinctive thanks to her attention to faces. Previously, Melo was on a couple of Dark Horse’s “Star Wars” series, and that experience with alien races comes in handy here. Her fun panels add to the action without distracting the reader’s eye, where the spot-on characters’ likenesses in the previous miniseries took focus away from the narrative. Likewise, colorist Matheus Lopes isn’t shy about adding his bright colors to the more upbeat parts of the issue. However, he knows when to keep his coloring muted and when to use lighting to add layers of emotion to Scott’s characterization.
All-in-all, fans of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness will find “Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 to be an almost pitch-perfect continuation of their adventures. This enjoyable issue will leave fans clamoring for the next installment.