Tony Black reviews Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #2…
Cyberships on fire in the Thames, as the Ninth Doctor battles for the soul of London! Dinosaur danger for the Eleventh Doctor, as the Cybermen attempt to conquer human prehistory! Caught in the middle of an ancient alien war, the Cybermen present a third side for the Tenth Doctor to face! And for the Twelfth Doctor – a deeply personal showdown with the architect behind the universe’s current chaos. No TARDIS, no help, no rescue: THERE IS NO RESISTANCE… ONLY THE CYBERIAD!
SEE ALSO: Preview of Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #2
The mega crossover tale in Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen continues in the second issue from writers George Mann & Cavan Scott, as they continue rolling out the connected narrative of the four Doctors involved as the universe becomes plagued with the biggest Cyberman invasion they’ve ever seen, one that is massively course-correcting time. By necessity, this issue consolidates information and begins dropping in some exposition, as each of the Doctors start trying to piece together what’s happened in the varying time periods they’re facing Cybermen in, and consequently none of their stories particularly advance all that far – plus Mann & Scott don’t have the luxury of staying with each assortment of characters for very long, which does make everything feel a little quick and throwaway in places. Nonetheless, the story they’re telling remains intriguing and their characterisation of the Doctors each fit.
If we go chronologically, you have the Ninth Doctor still in 2006 with Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness and fending off Larry Grayson jokes from Jackie Tyler, but if there’s one strand left behind by the writers it’s this – perhaps they too aren’t that interested in what Nine and his crew are up to. The Tenth Doctor quickly finds himself at the heart of the Sontaran war beast with his companions (no need to name them as they’re barely characters), and we do get an interested look at a non-clone soldier Sontaran, a very different kind of alien to what you may imagine. It’s just a shame artists Ivan Rodriguez & Walter Geovanni seem to have no idea how to bring David Tennant to life in their otherwise vibrant, colourful and impressive panels, because he looks nothing like Ten here.
The Eleventh Doctor is in prehistoric times evading Cyber-Silurians and he has a nice & sparky dynamic with companion Alice Obiefune which compliments his more important Cyber discovery in the distant past, making his strand perhaps the most important beyond that of our current Doctor, the Twelfth, who on Gallifrey confronts exiled Lord President Rassilon who, since the events of Season 10 finale ‘Hell Bent’ has a Cyber-upgrade and a very dastardly plan. One wonders how canon this comic is, as Rassilon could well crop up in future seasons, but nonetheless it’s a great way to bring him back, and Twelve is written in all his cantankerous glory throughout.
Once again we’re delivered numerous cliffhangers, but they’re much more establishing the next phase of the story rather than putting the Doctors in immediate peril, and that sums up this second issue of Supremacy of the Cybermen. It’s fun, it’s lightweight, it’s written by George Mann & Cavan Scott in the vein of Doctor Who, but it doesn’t really go anywhere fast, has a few iffy moments of drawing characters, and one senses even for Who it’s trying to do too much at once at the expense of letting the myriad of characters breathe. Who fans though will continue lapping this up and it’s a big enough story to carry on seeing where it goes.