Following an impressive 55 years of history (and counting), the BBC's Doctor Who is reaching a different kind of milestone by featuring its first female Doctor. After 12 different male actors embodied the immortal Time Lord for more than five decades, Jodie Whittaker has stepped into the role, making her brief debut as The Doctor in last year's Christmas special episode, "Twice Upon A Time."
Now, this Saturday marks another important day for the franchise: Titan Comics' Free Comic Book Day 2018 issue of Doctor Who is hitting comic book shops everywhere, and it features the comic book debut of Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor. The comic features three short stories starring David Tennant's 10th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy's 7th Doctor and Matt Smith's 11th Doctor, and it ends with a final page teasing the start of the 13th Doctor's comic book adventures by the creative team of Jody Houser and Rachael Stott.
Although the page is textless, it still manages to speak volumes about the direction this new iteration of the time-travelling Gallifreyan will take. The three panels are bathed in a warm and bright light, and every single one of them features beautiful and lush colors. As evidenced by the big grin on this new Doctor's face, it appears that this version of the Time Lord will once again be filled with a sense of pure wonder.
This appears to be an extrapolation of what little we saw of Whittaker's live-action debut as The Doctor. In the brief seconds following her regeneration in the Christmas episode, she caught her reflection and, upon realizing that she was now a woman, smiled. With the word "Brilliant," she declared, to herself as well as to the audience, the excitement of this new beginning. And it's an excitement that is carried over into the single-page comic book debut of the character, who appears to shepherd the series back into a sense of adventure and discovery.
Strange new lifeforms, from colorful animals to plants, are hers to discover -- an entire universe is at her fingertips. This is the fresh start the series has been in need of, especially after the last dark few years that starred Peter Capaldi's 12th iteration of the Doctor. Capaldi was brilliant in the role, but the series also veered into much darker and serious territory. If the 13th Doctor's live-action and comic book debuts are any indication, she will bring joy and fun back through all of space and time.