Doctor Who: Empire Of The Wolf – Book Four
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Color Artist: Warnia K. Sahadewa
Letterer: Comicraft’s Richard Starkings
Reviewed by: Steve J. Ray
Doctor Who: Empire Of The Wolf #4 brings to a satisfying end the cosmic team-up of the Eighth and Eleventh Doctors, as they join Rose Tyler and her doppelganger against an army of time-displaced Sontarans.
Jody Houser knows Doctor Who. With any multi-Doctor story, an essential part of the script will have to deal with how the main character reacts to/with their past/future self, and eventually lead all incarnations to put their heads together and solve the problem at hand.
What’s been wonderful about Empire Of The Wolf, from the very first issue, is the way that Jody hasn’t followed the old formula of two Doctors who don’t get on, then find a way to work together. This old comics trope, never more frequently (mis?)used than when two or more heroes initially start out at loggerheads and then unite against the villain of the piece, has been largely ignored and avoided in this story. The Eighth and Eleventh Doctors have always been two of the most emotionally stable and level-headed incarnations, and I’ve enjoyed this team-up immensely.
Adventures In Time and Space
Lest we forget, comics are a collaborative medium, some would even say the most collaborative of all. Jody Houser’s scripts and spot-on dialogue may not have landed as well as they always have without the incredible efforts of Roberta Ingranata, Warnia Sahdewa, and Richard Starkings. I always prefer when comic adaptations/spin-offs feature characters that sound and act like their live-action counterparts, but when they look, move and emote like them too… that’s magic.
The art in this issue… nay, in this entire series, has been lovely. Heroes, villains, doppelgangers, and potato soldiers, all have been impeccably realized and presented. Titan Comics’ Doctor Who ranks alongside the versions we’ve seen in the legendary UK Doctor Who Magazine as the greatest illustrated version of the character ever. In my humble opinion. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these are stories worthy of being on TV.
I would absolutely love it if this creative team was given a maxi-series, or full ongoing book starring one Doctor, allowing for sprawling plotlines, crossovers, and growth. While four-issue arcs can be fast-paced and fun, I’d love to see Jody and the gang flex their storytelling muscles and deliver a tale at least a year long. They deserve it, and I’m sure that they’re more than up to the task.
Doctor Who: Empire Of The Wolf #4 is fun and delivers on every front. I love comics that are character-led, with good plots, great scripts, entertaining dialogue, and protagonists you’re meant to love matching wits with villains you love to hate. This series invariably provides all of the above, and a whole lot more.
We’re going to be getting very little Doctor Who on TV this year, so I hope a new comics series will be materializing soon. I’ll be listening out for the VWORP, VWORP of TARDIS engines with bated breath.
Images Courtesy of Titan Comics