"The Ghost Ship"
Writer: James Peaty
Artist: Iolanda Zanfardinoy
Colorist: Dijjo Lima
"The Road To..."
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Rachel Scott
Colorist: Enrica Angiolini
Published by Titan Comics in July 2018
Titan Comics can't actually show the Thirteenth Doctor before she debuts on TV in the fall, so they have decided to build to her Comic Book Debut with three one-shot comic books that leads into her debut story. The first of these, in what is being called "The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor," is this story featuring the Tenth Doctor. It is short and light doesn't really feel like it is building towards anything. It isn't necessarily bad, but at this point doesn't really feel like it is on the "road" to anything.
It begins with the Tenth Doctor and his two Titan Companions, Gabby and Cindy...as they land on a space station and face off with some creepy beings that the Doctor defeats easily, and exposes a creepy plot by the "Earth Corps" to create genocidal weapons. And that is seemingly it. The conclusion feels quick and easy, nothing to write home about. The fact is the main story is just a regular Tenth Doctor story, which may or may not play into future events for either his series or the Thirteenth Doctor...but either way, it seems odd to build up and market this as a build up to her strips and then just give us an average story with an attached four page short story that is meant to sort of build to her.
The short story that actually is meant to serve as the actual "Road To.." storyline, just goes back into the Tenth Doctor's first season on TV, where we see the Doctor in between scenes in The Girl in the Fireplace in which he finds something even crazier than 18th Century France on a space station, though it is left ambiguous as to what it is, as the Tenth Doctor races off to save Rose and Mickey before exploring anything further.
One can only hope this is actually going somewhere. I felt this story was too light, too easy an enemy to defeat...but I didn't quite know what it was they were setting up for the Thirteenth Doctor. I only discovered later that only the four page mini-comic had anything to do with the Thirteenth Doctor's eventual debut. And I gotta say it was too short and ambiguous and relied a little too much on past continuity for me to get too interested.
The art is nice, and as per usual for Titan, they just nail the characterization of the Tenth Doctor, but this ultimately is just a regular issue of the Tenth Doctor ongoing series, and anything that may be setting up the actual road to the Thirteenth Doctor feels like an afterthought...or something that might work better when the whole story is collected together. Right now, it isn't the strongest start for the big build-up to the new Doctor.