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Comic Book Review
Earth has been invaded by the Hyperions – massive, malevolent sentient suns, roused from eons-long stasis to reconquer the universe. The most unfortunate humans have been transformed into the Scorched, hordes of smouldering ash-zombies. The rest have retreated underground, or have been pressed into service in giant slave camps, where they toil to produce the Hyperion machinery that will shackle the sun… and bring eternal darkness to our solar system! Can the Doctor, Clara and a fireman named Sam defeat these fiery tyrants before they immolate the Earth…?
It’s the penultimate part of The Hyperion Empire, and things are looking bad for the Doctor and Clara – quite literally, I’m sad to say. The quality of the art takes a dive, though I don’t think this is due to a lack of ability on the part of incoming artist Ronilson Freire, who has produced superior work for Dynamite’s The Green Hornet and Justice Inc: The Avenger series. Ordinarily, Freire’s style is a good match for that of Daniel Indro, who started this serial (indeed, Freire similarly took over from Indro on The Green Hornet), but here his work looks decidedly scratchy and rushed. He’s good at the fiery and smoky bits, though, which is fortunate given the storyline.
It turns out that I was wrong to assume (in my review of last issue) that the Fusion Angels are the female of the Hyperion species. Rather they are victims of the Hyperions, transmogrified and conditioned to carry out their will, as we discover when the Doctor manages to restore the human consciousness of one such unfortunate. It has to be said that this new ally is strangely unabashed about the fact that she is practically naked, clad only in flickering flames, her clothes having been burned away as soon as she was ignited – but then I suppose your priorities change when you discover that you’re the female equivalent of the Human Torch.
Tying in well with Clara’s characterisation during Series 9, fireman Sam remarks upon how the companion appears to relish the perilous situations in which she finds herself: “You enjoy it, don’t you? Time machines and aliens chasing you all over the place. I mean, I risk my life, it’s my job, but you enjoy it, the danger, the thrill…” She explains that, “Life’s short. For most of us. I learned that not long ago. You never know what’s round the corner, so grab every chance at life you can.” It may be that, following the death of her boyfriend Danny Pink, Clara has a subconscious death wish, a desire to join him in the afterlife.
All of our heroes could soon to be facing death, as the Hyperions’ servants inexorably close in...