Titan Comics - publisher of the Doctor Who comics line since 2014 - have revealed the first comic book to feature The Doctor's thirteenth incarnation. First airing in 1963, Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi series in television history, having gone on hiatus but never having been cancelled in its 55 year run. The series focuses upon the adventures of The Doctor - a time-traveling alien, both a genius and a pacifist, who acts as a defender of the weak and the oppressed.
The reason for the show's longevity lies in a conceit that Time Lords like The Doctor have the ability to regenerate their bodies in moments of great stress or trauma, becoming entirely new people. Originally introduced to continue the popular show after The First Doctor, William Hartnell, had to leave the role for reasons of ill-health, the idea of regeneration has allowed the show to go on, even as the actors playing The Doctor retired from the role.
Titan Comics announced the new comic The Many Lives of Doctor Who in a press release today, a zero-issue special that will lead directly into a monthly Thirteenth Doctor series, whose release will coincide with the start of the latest season of the legendary show. The story will be told from the perspective of the newly reborn Thirteenth Doctor, as her previous lives flash before her eyes as she is born.
It's said that your life flashes before your eyes when you die, and the Doctor’s had many of them! As the Doctor regenerates from his twelfth incarnation to her thirteenth (as played by Jodie Whittaker), she relives unseen adventures from all her past selves from Classic through to New Who. Hitting stores in September 2018, The Thirteenth Doctor #0 features a stellar cast of Doctor Who comic creators including writer Richard Dinnick and artists Mariano Laclaustra, Giorgia Sposito, Arianna Florean, Iolanda Zanfardino, Brian Williamson, Claudia Ianniciello and Rachael Stott, the artist of Titan’s new Thirteenth Doctor series!
This special 64-page edition - the first Thirteenth Doctor comic - comes with two covers to collect: an art cover by Claudia Ianniciello and a photo variant by designer Will Brooks - only available in comic shops. The Thirteenth Doctor #0 is part of Titan Comics' larger plans for the Thirteenth Doctor, which includes the launch of issue #1 in October and Doctor Who Comics Day on November 24.
The preview artwork shows an impressive variety of scenes and art styles. Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor - the one with the long scarf and big smile - is rendered in an appropriately animated style by Arianna Florean - an artist on the Tenth Doctor monthly comic book. A more realistic style is utilized by Mariano Laclaustra (artist on Titan's Twelfth Doctor series), who rendered the above image of William Hartnell's dour First Doctor and his companions watching the sun stretch across an apparently alien landscape.
While it is still uncertain when Whovians everywhere will finally get to see Series 11 and the first female Doctor in action, it seems that Titan Comics is ready and able to whet their appetites for new Doctor Who adventures until then. The preview artwork for The Many Lives of Doctor Who is fantastic and while the story concept is hardly original (with previous episodes of the show having depicted The Doctor flashing back through his earlier adventures while in the throes of regeneration sickness) it seems likely that veteran Doctor Who writer Richard Dinnick will find a way to put a unique spin on the story.