Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf by Jody Houser

I bought this graphic novel knowing nothing about it other than that the front cover looked cool. Based on that piece of art, I thought it was about Rose Tyler becoming corrupted by the power of the Bad Wolf and then the Doctors having to team up to stop her. That wasn’t the case at all, and in fact, I was slightly disappointed because the warlord version of Rose seen here comes from a previous Doctor Who comic, and her origins aren’t really explored in much detail. I recommend reading the comic Alternating Current (also by Jody Houser) first, so that you can go in properly informed (unlike me).

Anyway, that niggle aside (which I suppose is on me for not doing enough research), this was a delightful comic adventure which was very satisfying to me as a fan for various reasons. First of all, this has the Eighth Doctor meeting Rose Tyler. I love the Eighth Doctor, but his existence seems so far removed from Rose, so it’s cool to see these two strands of the Doctor Who universe come together – of course, he won’t remember it afterwards, but it’s technically the first meeting between the Doctor and Rose. On the flip side, it also shows the Eleventh Doctor meeting Rose, which is (for now) the last time the Doctor ever sees her, which is nicely bittersweet, and I enjoyed the dynamic between them. Last of all, though it’s only small, it also shows us the Meta-Crisis Doctor living with Rose in the parallel world

I think this type of Doctor Who story, which is based around bringing characters who had never met together, can go one of two ways – it can either come across as “Oh look, it’s that character you remember and that other character you remember too” or it can be a fannish treat that also does something significant with the character’s emotional journey (like Twice Upon a Time). This is definitely in the second category, and while you might want to read some of the other comics first, this is a lot of fun even if you don’t.

The story essentially has two versions of Rose becoming displaced across the multiverse and then needing to figure out how to get back to their proper place. Nothing too complex, but it sets up a fantastic character piece (and also has Sontarans, which is a nice bonus). It’s exactly the kind of story I like Doctor Who comics to tell. (Also, I never know how to insert this into reviews, but Roberta Ingranata did a great job on the art too).

Rating: 8.5/10

Buy it here.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Doctor Who. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *