The Twelfth Doctor mixes it up with a scandalous sword opera singer and then gives a couple comic book creators a talking to for their absurd Doctor Who ripoff in Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor: Sonic Boom.
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The Twelfth Doctor teams up with a scandalous opera singer to save the world. Find out how it goes in today’s episode of the Classy Comics Podcast.
Welcome to the Classy Comics Podcast. From Boise, Idaho this is your host, Adam Graham. If you have a comment, email it to me: email@example.com and check out our website: classycomicsguy.com.
Doctor Who is one of the most enduring science fiction franchises of all time, and it has a rich history in comics. For the first three Doctors and most of the Fourth Doctor’s era, the Doctors comic adventures were in serialized comic strips in British magazines such as TV Action. However, with the founding of Doctor Who Magazine, strips begin to appear there. With the popularity of the revived series the Doctor got a comic book series apart from the Doctor Who Magazine with IDW. Then the rights were eventually acquired by Titan Comics who’s printed most of the Doctor Who material that was produced by IDW’S Archives while producing ongoing series for the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor as well as many series featuring the Third, Fourth and Eight Doctors.
Sonic Boom is the sixth volume of Twelfth Doctor Adventures. In the second volume set in between the time that Clara Oswald left the TARDIS and Bill became the Twelfth Doctor’s new companion. So, the Doctor is traveling alone in this comic. First up is ‘Terror in the Cabinet Noire’. This finds the Doctor traveling to 1695 France where something is horribly wrong. Now Richelieu continues to dominate the city; however, Cardinal Richelieu was supposed to have died in 1642. Richelieu has teamed up with The Darkness in order to prolong his life and power, and is really ready to plunge the world into darkness in order to satisfy his goals. The Doctor teams up with opera singer Julie d’Aubigny, better known as La Maupin – although as Julie for short just because I’m pretty sure I’m butchering the French last name. OK, so what did I like about this story? Well, the art is pretty. It’s clear that writer Robbie Morrison really wanted a sort of gothic feel for the tale, and the art really serves that pretty well. I also like that we got to see the Twelfth Doctor sword fighting, that’s so fun, particularly as he challenged Julie who was a noted swordswoman of the time.
So what didn’t I like about this story? There are three big problems: first is that Julie is not really likeable. In one early scene she responds to someone criticizing her singing by kicking that particular gentleman in the groin. There are a few cases where that could be justifiable behavior – that is not one of them. And in terms of her overall behavior she is just written as a very self-centered, hedonistic and self-destructive person. Now, of course, you’re dealing with a real-life person so, as a comic book writer, you can’t really get rid of the rough edges, but the real problem that comes in here is that she is pretty much the main character of the story. She becomes almost a bit of a Mary Sue and really dominates the narrative; so you have a not very likeable character dominating the narrative. And that leads to the final problem is that this plot seems very familiar. In so many ways it seems recycled from other Doctor Who stories and comics and audio and television. The Darkness, oh, that’s an original name for the villain. And the visual representation they use with the sort of black-colored energy is very familiar. And even in terms of the plot element of the Doctor teaming up with a singer, they actually did this with a much more enjoyable singer in the twist just five Issues previously.
I didn’t think a whole lot of the first story in this book. The second story in this book is ‘Invasion of the Mind Moors’ and finds Val and Sunny working on the latest comic hit ‘The Time Surgeon’, a rip-off of Doctor Who that the writer Sunny created based on reading urban legends online about the Doctor; however, the Doctor shows up none too happy with this. He complains about absurdities in their stories such as some of the signs that the Time Surgeon spouse is pretty much rubbish, and insists that if they’re going to rip him off that they do so properly. And so he takes them on some adventures to show them what it’s really like. Overall there’s a lot to like about this comic – it’s very meta, it’s the type of thing that I can get into, the idea of a comic book about the Doctor complaining to essentially Doctor Who comic writers about how he’s being written. Sunny and Val are flatmates who are the writer and artist, respectively, for the comic. Their story takes a character journey that’s somewhat predictable but still fun to watch. There’s lots of humour and they do eventually get into a situation where their imaginations will be required to save the day. The art’s fine and we even get a fun cameo from a lot of the Doctor’s enemies that we wouldn’t typically see in a Doctor Who comic, I guess, due to the licensing expenses.
So, I found this delightfully imaginative and I really love this one. And so, this brings me to a bit of conflict as to how I would rate this book, because ‘The Terror of Cabinet Noire’ I found to be Not Classy, but the invasion of the Mar Marks I found to be utterly charming and quite Classy. Because the first story was longer and my dislike for it and my like for the second story are about equal, I’ll give this collection a rating of Not Classy, and if you’re just interested in reading that second story you can go to Comicology or to Amazon and search the Kindle story, and just get Issues Fourteen and Fifteen of the Twelfth Doctor comics a year or two.
Well that’s all for now. If you do have a comment, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. From Boise, Idaho this is your host, Adam Graham, signing off.