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Comic Book Review
Four-armed is forewarned! Past, present and future collide as the Doctor, Clara and their Indian allies struggle to unravel a mystery that has been millennia in the planning! What secrets are hidden by the Scindia family, a dynasty whose powerful roots can be traced back over a thousand years? What strange genetic modifications fuel the death cult of the Thuggee? The psychic essence of the ancient Kali could not be killed, and as each Thuggee sacrifice comes closer to waking her from her slumber, can the Doctor uncover the truth before her resurrection spells doom for India, Earth and the entire galaxy…?
The Swords of Kali serial hits its stride with this, its second episode, as the renegade Amazon Rani Jhulka tells the Doctor about the troubled past that led her to this point and the Time Lord learns more about ScindiaCorp’s connection to the god-like entity Kali. This is fascinatingly tied up with the real-life Thuggee assassins, who regard themselves as children of Kali, created from her sweat during her battle against the demonic Raktabija. Of course, the Doctor couldn’t care less about Rani’s past romance. As he observes, “Man loves woman. Man loves man. Woman loves woman. Who cares? People hating each other, that’s what bothers me. That’s when the trouble starts.”
There are impressive scenes from artists Dave Taylor and Mariano Laclaustra as Rani and the Doctor enter a sinister secret cave illuminated by grotesque floating lanterns – though the intense eyeballs of certain characters get a bit cartoony and strange on the fourth-to-last page.
Apparently there is just one episode left to go of this storyline. I wonder how the Doctor and Clara can possibly get out of the situation that this issue’s dramatic cliffhanger leaves them in.
The one-page humour strip The Inversion of Time is also worthy of note. Written by Colin Bell and drawn by Neil Slorance, it depicts a similar subject to the main strip of The Eleventh Doctor #6 to very witty effect.