Artwork by John Ridgeway
Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: Panini UK LTD!
The World Shapers sees out the end of the Sixth Doctor's tenure as the star of the strip. The earliest stories are pretty good, but as the book goes on the strip seems to lose a bit of the focus that made the Doctor Who Magazine version of the strip such a joy from its debut up until this point. I think it is "Salad Daze" which was the moment I was starting to lose interest in this book. It is still fairly good up to there, which is about the halfway point...then it slowly devolves into mediocre to downright bad.
For my money, the worst story in the collection is, unfortunately, the story that ended the Sixth Doctor's entire run in the strip, and the story from which the entire collection takes its name. "The World Shapers" is exactly the kind of story I get bored by. Instead of thinking of an interesting story or theme, the entire strip relies on continuity to seem interesting. It's Jamie! The Voord! Marinus! Cybermen! The Voord are Cybermen? It's mixing together two monsters and claiming them as one, hoping that that twist is enough to hold up the whole story. It doesn't. I know Grant Morrsion went on to great success, but his work here is lame.
While still a decent read with some great artwork and solid stories, I personally found the second volume of the Sixth Doctor comic strip run to be a bit more of a slog. I don’t really know why, but I think after the great run of stories featured in Voyager, it was hard to keep the momentum going. And the titular “World Shapers” was far too interested in delving into obscure continuities that it ended up souring the book for me. Not a bad collection of stories (for its first half anyhow), but it just can’t hold a candle to the first Sixth Doctor set, or even the Fourth and Fifth Doctor run.