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Comic Book Review
“They do not come in peace.” The Twelfth Doctor’s first year in comics draws towards its conclusion with the return of a cosmic foe and a four-part epic climax! It took everything the Doctor had to defeat a single Hyperion – a mad and ancient living star that had been sealed away for millennia by the Time Lords. Now Hyperion tombs are opening up all across the cosmos, with one awakening on the very edge of the solar system – with vengeance in its heart. How can the Doctor and Clara hope to stop the fury of the Hyperions from consuming Earth…?
This is where we came in. This latest storyline, The Hyperion Empire, sees the return of not only the writer Robbie Morrison but also the monsters he introduced at the beginning of the Twelfth Doctor series: the fiery Hyperions.
As with the first time the Daleks returned to the television series more than fifty years ago, the writer increases the threat level by having the invaders turn their attention towards Earth. Indeed, by the time the Doctor and Clara arrive, following some astonishing scenes of destruction (without giving anything anyway, I couldn’t believe what got blown up in the opening scene), London is already an ash-strewn ruin.
Who better to depict this devastated war zone than Daniel Indro, who previously took us to the First World War during the Tenth Doctor strip The Weeping Angels of Mons? Panicking victims, exploding aircraft and dusty ruins are his forte. Capturing the appearance of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor proves more difficult, while the returning Kate Stewart of UNIT looks nothing like Jemma Redgrave, the actress who plays her on screen.
This story takes place after the 2014 Christmas special, but before Series 9. So reads the placement note at the front of the comic, an innovation that is being brought in from this issue. Titan’s website further clarifies that the adventure takes place after the Four Doctors crossover event. The presence of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and a reference by Clara to the death of Danny Pink confirm the post-Last Christmas placement, as does the increasingly dark tone of the narrative. With burning corpses aplenty, this is not a comic for little kiddies, but it’s a great one for a grown-up Who fan like me.
We also get a double dose of Colin Bell and Neil Slorance’s humour strip (but none next issue).