Thursday, January 22, 2015

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #4 - A Review

Freed from a localized time warp, The Doctor seems to have lost one companion but gained two more.  Accompanied by Rani Jhulka (an Indian warrior from 1825) and Priyanka Maratha (an Indian astronaut from 2315), The Doctor uncovers a plot stretching back to a long-dead race of fourth-dimensional beings who once played at being gods on Earth. And in order to save Clara Oswald, The Doctor will have to help the sinister Scindia family recover one of the Swords of Kali - an artifact that could cut the very fabric of space and time!

Robbie Morrison writes one HELL of a Doctor Who story. His supporting characters have well-developed motivations and fleshed-out histories. His villains for this piece - The Kaliratha and The Scindia Family - are one of the more interesting concepts in the series' history. And the whole affair is reminiscent of the classic Fourth Doctor story Pyramids of Mars which utilized Egyptian mythology in the same way that Morrison makes use of Indian legends. There's also a fair bit of witty dialogue through the book that sounds just like Peter Capaldi's snarky Doctor.

Unfortunately, I can't praise the artwork for this issue quite so heavily. The general look is inconsistent - a problem that can probably be credited to the fact that two separate artists worked on this issue. A larger problem is that this inconsistency frequently results in Chandra Scindia - the patriarch of the Scinidia family - being rendered in a manner that can only be described as an Arabic stereotype, which is doubly strange since the character is mean to be an Indian!

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