It’s remarkable, the difference that a year can make.
Summer 2016 has Titan Comics offering us what they promise to be one hell of a story with the comic event Supremacy of the Cybermen and have no doubt, with part one they certainly deliver.
Why does this review begin with the reference to the changes that can take place within 365 days? Because it was around this time last year that Titan gave us The Four Doctors. A big event yes but a panel stealing powerhouse of an adventure, unfortunately not.
Where Supremacy of the Cybermen offers its real treats is the pacing and structure of the story. Yes, there’s four Doctors running around who will hopefully be bumping into one another but it’s their separate adventures taking place that serve to titillate and substantiate.
Readers find the Ninth Doctor on an alternative 2006 Earth that has been overrun by Cybermen, the Tenth Doctor in the far future coming face to face with a group of unruly Sontarans and the Eleventh Doctor on prehistoric Earth coming face to face with…well, let’s not give away all of the secrets. The point being that these stories, given a small page allocation for each one, manage to breathe and move forward at the same time. Writers George Mann and Cavan Scott manage to plot and pace with the swagger of fiercely entertaining writers. These two together understand Doctor Who and all its accoutrements.
Parallel to this, is the Twelfth Doctor’s story. The main thrust of this five part series tying everything together, his part takes place on Karn, with an unashamed, yet well handled, amount of continuity references. Something is very wrong with time and he needs leader Ohila and her people to get him back to Gallifrey. Whilst this reviewer will happily go on record as to say that the return of Gallifrey on television in 2015 was far too rushed and lacked the epic story it deserved, the use of it in the Titan series is far more palatable. At the same time that this may be official canon to Doctor Who, it’s far easier to view adventures linked to Gallifrey and the Time Lords in this medium than in the regular live action series where, in that case, their presence is usually used for a more powerful effect when they are talked of as the stuff of legend from an ancient war rather than secret jailers hidden at the end of time.
Grumblings regarding the Doctor’s first home aside, Supremacy of the Cybermen #1 is pretty much a perfect start to an exciting mini series. It feels as though there is plenty more to come and readers have only scratched the surface with this instalment, but what an instalment it is.
Supremacy of the Cybermen #1 is available to buy now from all good stockists and digitally via Comixology.