Time to go back to school with some comics–perfect for readers of any age. This month, we take a look at the long-awaited Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1!
Titan Comics News and Announcements
September 2020 Release Schedule
Please note release dates are always subject to change.
- Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1, Horizon Zero Dawn #2: September 2nd
- Blade Runner 2019 Vol. 2: September 16th
- Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Part One Vol. 4.1, Blade Runner #10, Robotech Archives Masters Vol. 1: September 23rd
- Horizon Zero Dawn #3, Adler #4: September 30th
November 2020 Solicitations
The Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious event leads right into a new Doctor Who #1 (more on that later), which will come on November 18th. And that same day, you can revisit Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious in trade paperback.
But it’s not all TARDISes (TARDII??) and Daleks. Life is Strange: Partners in Time continues Max and Chloe’s adventures in issue #2 on November 18th. The week prior, the new series Cutting Edge: Siren’s Song debuts. Cutting Edge: Siren’s Song features the world’s greatest minds on the quest of the dodecathlon, and it’s a competition that’s not what it seems.
Magazine and Star Wars fans have a triple dose of content to look forward to in November. On November 11th, Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga drops. Then a week later, Star Wars: Insider Souvenir Special 2021 becomes available. And then a Jedi-centric Star Wars: Insider closes out the month on November 25th. Finally, Bond fans can go behind the scenes of No Time to Die with a hardcover on the making of the 25th film on (appropriately) November 25th.
Visit GoCollect for more information on these and all other offerings from Titan this November.
November 21: Doctor Who Comics Day
Doctor Who Comics Day returns on November 21st, two days before the show’s 57th anniversary. Part of those celebrations will include a reboot of Titan’s ongoing Doctor Who comics line with a new #1. Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will still be present, but now she’ll be joined by Ten and Rose Tyler. The same creative team from the previous Doctor Who comics; Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist) and Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist); will be there for the new series.
Celebrations will take place in comic shops and libraries that are open with suitable social distancing measures in place. But if you don’t want to venture out, there will be virtual events as well. Those visiting shops will be able to pick up several variant covers, including the official Doctor Who Comics Day variant by Rachael Stott you see above.
Steampunk Fantasy Series Wika Announced
Titan’s imprint Statix Press has a new fairytale world for you: the world of Wika. Dive into the world of fairies, goblins, elves, and the story of young Wika on the hunt for the truth about her fairy heritage. She’s been in hiding since her mother, Titania, lost power in a coup led by Oberon. But she also has to fend off assassins on her trail from Oberon who don’t want her to know who she truly is.
Wika, released in France from 2014 to 2019, is the first comic book story from Thomas Day (real name Gilles Dumay), with artwork from Olivier Ledroit. We have a (quite stunning) art preview of Wika above, which will be available in collected form in March 2021.
What I’m Reading
We check in with the ladies of Victorian London in Adler #3, see if Horizon Zero Dawn continues its strong debut in issue #2, and then there’s the main event: Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1.
Simon Bowland (letterer), Paul McCaffrey (artist, colorist), Lavie Tidhar (writer)
August 19, 2020
The plot thickens. With the help of young Annie and Marie Curie, Adler starts to put together what evil Ayesha has in mind: a radium death ray. And as others around them start to put together the scope of those plans, they end up dead. With death coming closer and closer to Adler, will she be able to avoid its cold grip?
We now have a central conflict for this miniseries: a good development, though not perfect. Ayesha’s end game still is not clear, though it could be something as simple as just world domination. There’s still a place in entertainment for the cartoonishly evil. And with two issues left, we still have enough time to resolve this conflict without it feeling rushed. But there is one thing I could do without: the parade of guest stars. This issue featured a cameo appearance by Nikola Tesla as the architect of Ayesha’s death ray, a moment that left me asking: was this necessary?
The artwork of Paul McCaffrey continues to be this series’ bright light. He shows excellent command of the steampunk tone and aesthetic, bathing his color palette in a base tone of browns and blacks. Adler and Ayesha seem to buck this trend with their red wardrobes, though Adler’s is much brighter, drawing your eye to her instantly. And it makes me immensely happy to see women drawn proportionally and not for the male gaze (though Ayesha’s outfit certainly takes its look from Slave Leia).
There’s so much potential in this series, so I do hope it makes it way to a strong ending.
Horizon Zero Dawn #2
Jim Campbell (letterer), Ann Maulina (artist), Anne Toole (writer), Bryan Valenza (colorist)
September 2, 2020
And the hunt is on. The target: a new black armored machine that’s even more of a vicious killer. And now Talanah and Amadis are on their way. Rebel tribes, smaller machines, and even their own personalities won’t get in the way of this mission. But one confrontation with a machine reveals that there could be a bigger prize to seek.
Just like with Adler above, we have a sense of the story’s central goal. The slow storytelling pace from the first issue continues well into its second, which can be frustrating. But I do have to remind myself that this comic was a video game first. This kind of pace is what fans of the game are used to most. And this does leave room for some funny moments and very thoughtful truths, such as this relatable remark from Amadis: “People are fine. It’s the trouble they cause.”
We see one of these machines up close in the final act of this issue, and their cold metal presence proves an excellent contrast to the lush, pastoral scenes. Shading and sharp, jagged lines make this monster stand out from the watercolor backgrounds. These backgrounds themselves are as much part of the story as the characters, building the world in a way deeper than any dialogue.
Last month, I predicted this series could be a hit if its second issue makes headway into the story. With a finer understanding of the pacing, I really do now see the seeds for success.
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious #1
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist) Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Richard Starkings of Comicraft (letterer)
September 2, 2020
The long awaited multiplatform Doctor Who event has arrived, kicking off with the Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious comic.
The star of this show is David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, fresh off of his adventures in London with Thirteen and the fam. But something’s rather wrong. He has no memories. The TARDIS doesn’t to seem to have any either. And then an old enemy comes knocking: the Daleks. They’re not here to fight, though. Instead, they want the Doctor’s help. Something bigger and more frightening is out there—something that frightens even the heartless Daleks. And only a Doctor can save them.
My biggest concern with large stories like this is page count. At 52 pages, is it too much, or not enough? Jody Houser works her page count well, building up the world and the story’s tension. She proves that Ten is the right kind of Doctor for this story because his cheeky humor breaks tension and sets up fun sub-conflicts, such as the old foes now working together. My only question at the moment is this: how does this connect to the previous Doctor Who comic arc that ended in March, if at all?
The art team is firing on all cylinders, with Ingranata and Angiolini embracing epic scale with sweeping, detailed landscapes. In the Time Lord Victorious Comic-Con@Home Panel, Jody Houser mentioned that one of the benefits of comics is telling stories that may not logistically work on television. And you can see that very clearly in this artwork, as no detail is left untouched, no creative and artistic boundary is left unbroken. With the Doctor front and center in this story, it’s important to also get his look right in close up moments, and that’s something Ingranata does beautifully.
If I have any concern about this story, it’s the interconnectedness to other media. While the Comic-Con@Home panel stressed that each component of this event can be read independently, I fear there will be small nuance from the comic that cross over to other stories. And readers may not want to, or be able to, invest in every aspect of this event.
This creative team proved when they took over Doctor Who comics with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor that they were up to the task of rebooting a comic line to reach a wider audience. Have they done it again with Time Lord Victorious? Absolutely.