In Review: Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #6
The covers: Six issues in, so you should know that there are three covers to choose from and what two of them will look like. Cover A is, again, by Francesco Francavilla, with the sixth Doctor looking shocked as Autons close in on him. If you take this A cover and combine it with the previous five issues’ covers you form a poster. Comics icon Dave Sim provides the art for Cover B, while Charlie Kirchoff does the electric coloring. And who is on the cover with our Time Lord? Why it’s Peri! The art is slick and the rose sky is perfect! Cover RI is the photo cover of Colin Baker, hands on his lapels of his jacket, standing proudly before his TARDIS. Great! Overall grades: A A-, B A, and RI A+
The story: I never thought that I’d ever say this again in my life, but this is a story with Forbisher! I read his adventures (okay, they were the Doctor’s) when they were new in Doctor Who Magazine. What a fantastic treat by writers Scott & David Tipton to include him. So, my favorite comic companion in back, but is there a story? You bet! The Doctor, Peri and Forbisher (YEAH!) discover they’re not in the Artic, but in its fragment in the year 7214. Faster than you can say holodeck, our trio is pursued for questioning. The antagonist is revealed on Page 9 and his appearance had me cheering, and if you’re a fan you’ll be doing the same. The Doctor’s escape on 14 and 15 is classic, and I knew who he’d be thanking before he did. Now if you’re thinking there’s nothing in the ending of this issue that can surprise you, since every issue has ended the same way, guess again! An early appearance on Pages 21 and 22 will wow you, as will the companion set free! The Tiptons are in top form again! Overall grade: A+
The art: How could anything top the return of Forbisher to Doctor Who comics? Howzabout John Ridgway, the man who drew the original comics of the sixth Doctor? His style is so familiar to me it was like I was being transported back to my high school days! His Doctor still looks great and his visual humor is spot on: Forbisher has a great comedic scene in the third panel of Page 3 and the design of the robots that first appear on Page 5 were simple and fun. Page 9 was the scene stealer for me. Just seeing that smile in the last panel got my pulse going. Ridgway is still the man! Overall grade: A+
The colors: I was equally impressed by the coloring of Charlie Kirchoff. His blues and whites of the Artic were good, but beyond this setting he’s even better. I like how he didn’t have to color in the empty backgrounds all the time, instead letting the art determine the focus; for example, Page 7–the ground and the sky are white, and the curve of the buildings and the pathway make our eyes go to the center of the image, where our multicolored hero runs. The last panel on the same page has a similar effect. My favorite panel was Page 10′s fifth: the dark colors show him completely captured. Great! Overall grade: A+
The letters: Some nice whispering on Page 8 and some cool mechanical fonts highlight the work of Tom B. Long. I like the dialogue and narration, too, but the yells and squeals demand bigger letters and bigger balloons: see the bottom panel of Page 1 for an unsuccessful utterance. Overall grade: A-
The final line: An outstanding story, the return of Forbisher, John Ridgway, and an infamous villain! Christmas has come early! Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.