Eighth Doctor Mini-Series #2- Music Of The SpherionsBookmark and Share

Monday, 4 January 2016 - Reviewed by Dan Collins
Writer - George Mann
Artist - Emma Vieceli
Colorist - Hi-Fi
Letterer- Richard Starkings + Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Editor - Andrew James
Assistant Editor - Kirsten Murray
Designer - Rob Farmer
Released December 8th, Titan Comics

This is the second part of a four issue mini series featuring the 8th Doctor. Previously we were introduced to a new companion, a free spirited artist named Josie. The two had a run in when the Doctor came looking for his copy of Jane Eyre and instead happened upon a young woman squatting in his cottage. They found a list of names and coordinates in the book and in this second issue they head off to Lumin’s world on their first alien adventure together.

Things get off to a rocky start (pun intended) when they land in the middle of a warzone between crystalline invaders the Spherions and their anamorphic cat-like victims, the Calaxi.  In typical Doctor Who fashion within seconds the pair is running for their lives, dodging transmogrifying bullets. Josie isn’t quite fast enough though and is wounded in the leg. When the locals tell them that there is no cure and she will be turned into a crystal creature, the Doctor decides to do the only thing he can to save Josie’s life. End the war.

As mentioned in a previous review, this miniseries is standalone stories that are just loosely tied together. Right now the thread that binds them is the list found in the Doctor’s copy of the Bronte novel. As such, any information needed from previous stories is passed along in the narrative or through the characters. A new reader could easily jump on board without missing a beat.

“War. It’s everywhere I turn. No matter where I go, or what I do, everyone is at each other’s throats. It’s as if the universe wants to tear itself apart”

That lament is one of the Doctor’s finest moments. It really harkens back (or is it foreshadowing in this timey wimey universe?) to his appearance in Night Of The Doctor. He is a man who is being haunted by death no matter where he turns. When Josie is gravely injured he knows this is his chance to steal back an innocent life that would have otherwise been lost.

So where does Josie rank amongst companions now that she has two adventures under her belt? I like her a lot. Though she might be portrayed as a sort of hipster/hippie because she is an artist with blue hair, spacers in her ears and no food in the cupboard, I think she moves beyond such a banal stereotypical characterization. She blew away my preconceptions and delivered a fantastic emotionally charged story. After being wounded she faces the situation with a sense of bravery and compassion that many wouldn’t be able to muster. The bleaker the going, the more poignant and heartfelt she becomes. She reacts to her tragic situation the way all of us would like to think we would, by being amazing, brave and kind. In short, the epitome of what the Doctor loves about us humans.

Overall, I really enjoyed this comic. The art was bright and vibrant, it did a great job selling this beautiful crystalline alien world. The story itself was a pleasant and somewhat uplifting read. The only drawback would be the miniseries format. With all the stories just loosely tied together, it lacks the cliff hanger at the end that keeps you anxiously waiting for the next issue to drop. Even still, the plot and characters have been fulfilling enough that number three will be on top of my “to read” pile once it comes out.