Indie Comics Review: Doctor Who: “Alternating Currents”

by Steve J. Ray
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Doctor Who: “Alternating Currents”
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Color Artist: Enrica Angiolini with Shari Chankhamma (Flatters)
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Sarah Hedrick
Reviewed by: Steve J. Ray

Summary

Doctor Who: “Alternating Currents” brings us an all-new adventure, featuring the now very familiar team of the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor… but there’s a complete spin this time, as it’s the first time they’ve actually met. Or is it? Talk about wibbly wobbly, timey wimey; this is a story featuring paradoxes, and one that also delivers both a twist, and a sting in the tail.

Positives

Yes, my favorite Doctor Who creative team is back, and they’re as hot as ever. The whole link back to the Thirteenth Doctor’s latest season of TV adventures (“Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror” – series 12, episode 4) is brilliantly handled, as is this new/old meeting between 10, 13… and Rose Tyler.

Yes, the first companion of the 21st Century is back, but, once again, this isn’t a Rose Tyler we’ve ever met before. Confused? you won’t be once you’ve read this book, and , believe me, every true Doctor Who fans needs to read this book.

Jody Houser weaves a tale of intrigue, time paradoxes, pasts that never happened, and the futures that could be destroyed because of it, and she does so brilliantly. She also  has an uncanny knack of making all her characters read just like they sound on TV. This is a writer at the top of her game, writing something she clearly loves, and is pretty darned good at.

Add to all this the inclusion of 1970s TV monsters, the Sea Devils, and a fresh new take on the scorpion race, the Skithra from the latest season, and what we get is two great Who eras, tied together with a cosmic little bow.

L’arte più bella

Roberta Ingranata and Enrica Eren Angiolini are a match made in heaven. Like Jody, they deliver classic, gorgeous, Doctor Who, and they are artists that draw and color London and the UK, the town and country I live in, perfectly. I remember reading comics when I was growing up that depicted my homeland as a cross between the Hamptons and Jack the Ripper’s worst nightmares. These two ladies either live here too, or they really do their research. Either way, I love their work. (Huge thanks to Enrica, who recently had a conversation online with me, where she let me know what flatters do. I’m so honored and grateful.)

Richard Starkings (one of the UK’s greatest exports) and Sarah Hedrick’s letters are also on point. From Rose Tyler’s machine gun, to the TARDIS’ materialising, and every last line of dialogue, these fine talents add so much to the feel, and readability of this great book.

Negatives

At first I did have a couple, but after re-reading the story, I had to re-think them. People expecting fireworks at the reunion of the tenth Doctor and Rose, and explosions when Ms Tyler meets Doc thirteen may feel disappointed. Don’t be. When you realise that both incarnations are meeting this particular Rose for the first time, put yourself in their shoes. Can you imagine finding your lost love, and them not knowing who you are? My heart breaks for the Doctors, as this could be the most single bittersweet reunion ever. It’s also one that, due to the very nature of time paradoxes, neither Ten, nor Rose will ever remember.

Bravo Jody Houser. Now, I cannot wait to see you write the story where our Doctors meet the Rose left behind on Pete’s World. Now there’s a tale I’d love to read.

Verdict

Doctor Who: “Alternating Currents” is another fine addition to the Titan Comics’ vaults. This book is fun, action packed, brilliantly written, and lovely to look at.

If you’re the kind of person who picks these stories up in trade collections, then this book is highly recommended. It’s vintage Doctor Who, and a great read.

Images Courtesy of Titan Comics


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