Doctor Who – Empire Of The Wolf
Jody Houser (Author) • Roberta Ingranata (Artist) • Warnia K. Sahadew (Colorist)
Reviewed By Paul Flewitt
So, my first official review as a team member for Kendall Reviews, and this isn’t what I was expecting at all. I’ve been thrown straight out of my comfort zone with this one, and it’s been a fantastic ride.
Full disclosure time here; I don’t really read graphic novels. I have nothing against them, and a lot of my favourite writers have had their work adapted to the medium, but they’re not something I ever really fell in love with. I tried, but I often get lost in the artwork and forget about the story. Now I’m reviewing, it seemed a good time to challenge myself, and why not do that with a Doctor Who story?
I’ve been a fan of the show since I was a kid. Sylvester McCoy was the Doctor when I first started watching, but we would often spend Sunday mornings watching old TV series on cable; shows like Catweazel, Worzel Gummidge … and old episodes of Doctor Who. Because of that, I fell in love with everything Doctor Who, and Patrick Troughton was always my Doctor. When the New-Who era started with Christopher Ecclestone, it was an exciting time. I could bring my daughter up with a current iteration of the show I’ve always loved. Since then, I’ve read quite a few of the novels and heard some of the audio adventures, and lost myself in all of them.
All of this isn’t to establish myself as some uber-Whovian superfan, but assure you, dear reader, that I have a grounding in Who and that I’m not going into this totally blind. I just don’t know the arcs of the graphic novels, so this is very new to me in that sense.
With that little piece of housekeeping out of the way, let us begin …
Doctor Who; Empire of the Wolf is the latest entry into a series of adventures from Titan Comics. They have presented us with a number of adventures with Doctors 9-13, as well as a special Missy adventure. So, it seems the universe has been safe in their hands for quite some time.
What they offer here is something very special for me, and was quite the surprise when I opened the file. Rose Tyler adventures are nothing new, but here we have one with the 8th Doctor. Now, I know that Paul McGann has done a few of the audio adventures by now, but I always thought we needed more. His movie was much maligned, but the episode he did in the run up to the 50th anniversary was sublime. If ever a Doctor needed to be revisited in TV world, surely it would be the 8th. I got my wish here.
Rose Tyler is living in the parallel dimension with her human Doctor, now called John. She has a teenage daughter, Mia, and something approaching a normal life. She has been plagued with visions which she shares with John, who has retained the Time Lord knowledge, but is gradually forgetting. After a particularly strong vision, she figures that someone must be reaching out to her, and she reaches back. The act transports her somewhere else … and where else but Bad Wolf Bay?
The Eighth Doctor is also being called, and he knows it’s time for a new adventure. He sets the controls of the TARDIS to wherever, and she takes him to World War 2 London, but it’s radically different. There are Sontarans. The Doctor runs back to the TARDIS to get a fix on the frequency which calls him, and he is taken to someone wolf-shaped … Rose Tyler.
Someone else is sharing Rose’s visions; a woman who has tried saving worlds and dreamed of a man in a blue box. She met him once, and he explained that neither her nor her world were meant to be, but she can still do some good in the universe. She is the product of a paradox. Like many of the Doctor’s good intentions, this woman doesn’t proceed exactly as he would’ve liked. She becomes power-hungry, believing she is bringing peace to the worlds in her universe, but she is becoming the despot.
Enter the 11th Doctor, who has also been following a call.
Meanwhile, the 8th Doctor and Rose are also following a strong frequency, and no surprises where they end up. From here, we have an intensely entertaining adventure with two Doctors, Rose and The Bad Wolf Empress. All the ingredients we expect from Who are present and correct; adventure, peril and a lot of good humour. Jody Houser clearly understands the format, and loves the characters she’s employed. The 8th Doctor is the man trying to do good, the 11th is the broken child-man (this is set shortly after losing Amy and Rory,) who only wants a little fun. Rose is typically Rose, keeping the Doctor on the straight and narrow, savvy to the rules of travelling with the Doctor. It is a satisfying story, and one which would make a fun episode or two in the TV show.
The artwork isn’t overpowering, which is something I usually struggle with when it comes to graphic novels. I can be easily distracted by the imagery and lose the thread of the story, but that didn’t happen here. The art is complimentary, telling the other parts of the tale with sweep and panache. The renderings of the characters are perfect, and I could easily see this being animated at some point in the future.
All in all, I’m glad I picked this one up. It was well worth taking the leap, and I enjoyed every page of it. I ate through this one in one sitting, really wanting to know what happens next. For a Whovian of any age who loves a good graphic novel, this one is very much for you.
Doctor Who – Empire Of The Wolf
AN INCREDIBLE NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL THAT BRINGS TOGETHER THE EIGHTH AND ELEVENTH DOCTORS IN A TIME-TWISTING TALE FEATURING TWO ROSE TYLERS!
When searching for his next adventure, the Eighth Doctor meets a strange young woman from another universe… Rose Tyler. He has no idea of the destiny they share, but makes it his mission to discover what brought her here, and how to get her home.
Meanwhile, the Eleventh Doctor is summoned by a mysterious empress plagued with visions of another life. It’s Rose Tyler, but not the one he knows! Hailing from an alternate timeline and trapped here alone, she has become a liberator, conqueror, and now empress. And when she finds out she’s not the only Rose in this universe, something must be done…
All hail the Bad Wolf!
Bursting straight out of the long-running hit television series, this Doctor Who collection continues the time-travelling tales of the Doctor and friends. <p/>Buy it, read it, then travel back in time to read it for the first time all over again…!
Paul Flewitt is a horror and dark fantasy writer from Sheffield, UK, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Paul began publishing in 2012, beginning with the flash fiction story, Smoke, for OzHorrorCon’s Book of the Tribes anthology. He went on to pen further short stories, including Paradise Park, Climbing Out, Apartment 16c and Always Beneath.
In 2012, he also published his first novel, Poor Jeffrey, which was received to much critical acclaim.
Paul cites writers such as Clive Barker, Stephen King, James Herbert and JRR Tolkien as inspirations on his own writing.
Paul continues to write, contributing to Matt Shaw’s The Many Deaths of Edgar Allan Poe anthology in 2020 with The Last Horror of Dear Eddie. He also began releasing free short stories and fanfiction on his Wattpad account for fun.
You can find more information, and keep up to date with latest news at these links…
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