Do you need more Dr. Who? Well here it is: Operation Volcano
Doctor Who: a popular show about time travel, space, and the importance of kindness and humanity. Comics: a way to get people who dislike reading (I know right? Such strange beings) to enjoy the literary adventures that us reader folk partake in in multitudes. Allow me to introduce to you… Doctor Who Comics! A way to join the doctor in extra adventures with fewer words and more pictures, a beautifully fused combination of the two. Now whether you’re like me and have started with the reboot, with only minimal knowledge of the previous reincarnations, or are a Doctor Who veteran that has been there since the beginning, you likely want more Doctor Who in your life, I know I do. Since season eleven will be released in likely a few months (way too long), some of us need our fix before then. This is why I present to you today: Operation Volcano, starring the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion, Dorothy Gale ‘Ace’ McShane (Sophie Aldred). This adventure published by Titan comics will surely hold you over until fall.
Operation Volcano takes place in 1967 and 2029, a feat easily achievable in Doctor Who. The story begins in 2029, where two people are in a spaceship conducting a routine operation. They see something strange, and human curiosity takes over. Cut to May 1967, where the Doctor, Ace, and some more of his friends are investigating something else strange, and alien. All the while something secret is going on under everyone’s noses… just not quite secretly enough. In the end, it turns out that maybe the aliens are a bigger threat than a dormant object, and definitely a bigger mystery.
On a different note, the art style is quite vivid, and addresses the theme of dark and spooky quite effectively. The desert (spoiler alert, there is a desert) looked artistically barren, in the way only a desert could, and the sand made me feel thirsty at times. The artist also did an amazing job with the space setting the astronauts were in, drawing my attention into the story deeper, and making me feel cold and (only slightly) apprehensive. The alien mystery object in the story was very well drawn, with quite interesting colour and architecture choices to draw more attention to it, even though it was already stealing the spotlight.
Since I grew up with the reboot of Dr. Who, I haven’t seen much of Dr. Who before then, so I can’t be a very good judge of accuracy of character. I can say that the characters are interesting however, and I really like Ace and her strong personality. I also recognize some of the doctor I know in this past reincarnation, like the cleverness, sociability, and slight ridiculousness that makes him so likeable, but still able to get the mystery solved and the people saved.
I would recommend this to anyone that likes adventure and mystery, regardless of whether you know of Dr. Who or not, or whether you know a lot about the classic Dr. Who or not. If you don’t like regular reading I would also recommend this story, because the fusion between words and pictures is well balanced, with almost all of the feel of a TV show, minus the music and with a little more effort because you do still have to read. All in all, the beginning of this story is intriguing, and unites many aspects for a wider variety of audience. Much of the mystery has yet to unfold however, as this is only the first issue. You’ll have to join the Doctor next time if you want to see it unfold further.