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Comic Book Review
Filled with new purpose, and information from the mouth of the War Doctor himself, Alice is closing in on the truth behind the Doctor’s possible-crime. She’s going to find the answers the Doctor seeks, even if it kills her. And with the insane non-Daleks of the Volatix Cabal manipulating events, it looks as though it just might… But something horrific is stirring, something whose appetite may never be sated, and the Doctor finds himself caught between duty and honour…!
Even more so than last issue, this is a War Doctor comic rather than an Eleventh Doctor comic, in spite of the series title. Matt Smith’s Doctor doesn’t appear at all this time around, and neither does Abslom Daak (despite a reference to him coming to a fateful decision on the Titan Comics website).
Eleven’s companion Alice is a prominent presence, though, bravely attempting to save the Time Lord from himself, and passionately confronting one of the twisted non-Daleks of the Volatix Cabal. “I wanted to stop the Doctor killing,” she says, “but now, having been here, after seeing where he comes from, what he’s seen the likes of you do… He’s 900 years old… How has he never given in to just slaughtering your sort? He always gives you a chance! Always! He must be so kind…” Well, he did try and wipe them all out at the end of the Time War (or will do – tenses get confused when time travel is involved), but let’s overlook that detail for the sake of what is a very rousing speech.
There’s a quality to I.N.J. Culbard’s work that reminds me of old-school artists like Jim Baikie, John M. Burns and Gerry Haylock, offering a strong level of realism even among surreal events. See, for example, the fine anatomical detail as a giant, god-like hand reaches for Alice, or the freakish design of the Volatix Daleks (whose sleeper agents foreshadow those seen in later Matt Smith episodes). Talking of which, I wonder whether the almost unrecognisable look of these non-Daleks is to get around some copyright issue…
Though they have been away for a while, the Eleventh Doctor and Daak may soon be reunited with Alice, thanks to a calamitous event that takes place at the end of this episode. That’s if the calamitous event doesn’t destroy her first…