Doctor Who: Origins Issue #4 Review

    With this final fourth issue of Doctor Who: Origins, the Fugitive Doctor’s assignment comes to quite the conclusion! I must say, it’s been quite a delight reading this series over the past few months. (fellow contributor Alex reviewed Issue 3 last month!) Held at gunpoint by Taslo at the cliffhanger of late issue, Issue 4 now picks up the pieces as the Jo Martin incarnation must find a way out of the situation.

    Doctor Who: Origins #4 – preview page (courtesy of Titan Comics)

    The Story of Doctor Who: Origins #4

    The big question about the Fugitive Doctor – well, one of them – has long been: did she always abide by the Division and their whims? The past three issues have certainly shown her resistance, and now with her facing down a Timelord that had assigned Division operatives to murder off other planets that some Timelords had fled to, colonised and begun to re-evolve on.

    Issue 4 continues this to play on this question. Without spoiling the exact details, it seems that she is not the only operative that is happy to oppose malicious figures within the Gallifreyan elites. (That said, there is a cheeky caveat that I expect most fans will be a little surprised by.)

    Fugitive’s companion-figure for the series – recently gone rogue at the end of Issue 3 – Taslo also gets a bittersweet final conversation with the Doctor. Though comics as a medium don’t have the same freedom of length as books or TV for such things, it works well as an emotional moment.

    Additionally, there is an appearance later on that is sure to be quite the treat for fan speculation. All I’m saying is I can think of a few people that could be… but the most obvious possibility seems the most intriguing!

    The last two pages are a bit of a rush, in my opinion. Many thoughts are left for fans to mull. That said, there is enough in those two pages to set the stage for where the Fugitive Doctor goes next. Besides, the mysteries are part of the fun… Overall, Jody Houser brings the Origins series to a nice conclusion.

    Doctor Who: Origins #4 – Cover A [by Jess Taylor] (courtesy of Titan Comics)

    A Side-Thought

    There is one slight oddity of the Origins series that has remained until this last issue – and I have to wonder if it will remain even for the collected edition of the Origins series (coming in December!) – the Previously recaps continue to refer to the Fugitive as “this incarnation of the Time Lord“. It seems just a tad unusual to have such a definite-sounding remark made, particularly given that Fugitive Doctor is closely associated with Series 12’s The Timeless Children; one of several stories over the decades that has made the Doctor’s species far more complicated and difficult to describe. (Yes, Unnatural History readers, we see you…) It’s no big deal, of course, but just a slight observation…

    The Artwork

    Of course, you can’t discuss this issue without making mention of Roberta Ingranata’s superb art. The likeness of Jo Martin throughout is great. Costume detailing familiar to fans is replicated brilliantly and carefully upon Timelord robes as it should be. Ingranata gives distinct looks to some brief but intriguing forms of life that are seen.

    This is all eye-catchingly set by the colourising of the art by Warnia K. Sahadewa. Even in comic art scale, Sahadewa manages to make the coloured patterning of Fugitive’s shirt recognisable. Varied planet landscapes have been given their own distinct looks. The TARDIS interior is seen again within the issue, and we get some lovely light and shadow work.

    Fugitive Doctor – character art [created by Lee Binding] (courtesy of the official Doctor Who website)

    Concluding Thoughts

    Doctor Who: Origins has been an excellent run for the Titan Comics hierarchy of Doctor Who comics, carefully treading the line between exploring Fugitive Doctor’s character and maintaining that crafty ambiguity key to a lot of her life. Taking the Division as a concept and avoiding expectable directions for something a bit more surprising, it’s been a tremendous and memorable series. And all that set upon some fabulous artistry. Not perfect, but pretty great.

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    Jamie H. Cowan
    Jamie H. Cowan
    A wildly varied sci-fi fan. When not dragging people down the Time Vortex with his Doctor Who theories, Jamie is often working his way through 'The Flash' comics (he insists they can be sci-fi!) or trying not to dream of the return of cult sci-fi shows.

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