Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Archives Omnibus, Vol 2

Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Genre: Sci-Fi/Media Tie-In

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Other Doctor Who Reviews: Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Archives Omnibus Vol. 1 / Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures, Volume 1 / Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Who: The Iron Legion

I think I much preferred this to volume 1. Volume 1 was enjoyable, but this one just feels stronger, with more interesting storylines. Although I have to admit, I’m getting just a touch bored with Rory and Amy, this volume actually uses them in quite an interesting way, rather than the pair just whining and pining.

There aren’t really many standalone stories here. Instead, this omnibus collects a few different story arcs, reprinted from the comics, and like most similar comics, some are stronger than others.

The first story takes us to Casablanca, 1941. There is a slight threat of Nazis, but the main problem the Doctor, Amy and Rory confronts is a plan to take over the world by Silurians. Well, take over and kill all humans. Rory initially finds himself separated from the Doctor and Amy, but his focus is on the other man in his cell. This, to me, is where Rory really shines – he knows Amy is okay, safe with the Doctor, and though he is in a spot of trouble, he’s able to be more than ‘Amy’s husband’.

“The Hypothetical Gentleman” has the group visiting the World Exhibition in Victorian London. The Doctor and the Ponds come across an interesting contraption which unleashes a shadow being. This is where the Ponds fall a little flat for me. Rory ends up in danger, and Amy spends most of the time berating the Doctor and bemoaning the fact something has happened to Rory. It’s fair when they’re concerned about each other, but it gets frustrating when all her role is is pining about her husband. Both are capable characters in their own right, but too often the married couple is used in a similar way, and it just gets kind of boring.

(Can you tell they are not my favourite companions? I mean, out of New Who, Matt Smith isn’t near my favourite Doctors either, but he’s okay.)

We are then treated to Amy insisting the Doctor and Rory have a boys’ night in “The Doctor and the Nurse”. After all, she got to spend time with the Doctor prior to Rory joining them, so maybe they just need some alone time to learn to get along. Of course, neither of them want this, and end up in a spot of bother when they try to skip the whole thing. Meanwhile, Amy uncovers a mystery and follows it, determined she can do stuff on her own, thank you very much. I actually really enjoyed this one, and it was nice to see both Rory and Amy doing their own things without worrying about the other, at least not until stuff does go wrong. It shows Amy at her best, rather than fussing over the two men.

“The Eye of Ashaya” was a lot of fun, as the Doctor treats Amy and Rory to a relaxing cruise. But of course, it turns out to be not so relaxing, and there’s some solid Doctor Who themes that come into play here. An old ‘friend’ turns up, there’s multiple people searching for a diamond that can, well, power a lot, and it turns out the people running the cruise aren’t the most ethical. Various elements tie in together to create a solid story.

The other stories in here are shorter – “Time Fraud”, “In-Fez-Station”, “Space Oddity” and “Escape into Alcatraz”. Except “Space Oddity”, these ones are kind of forgettable. There’s nothing overly bad about them, but they’re crammed into an omnibus that already has a lot going on. “Space Oddity” stands out for the use of the same dark shadow creatures the Doctor encountered in the library. The other stories are fun, but overall suffer from being included in something that was already full.

Like Volume 1, this one will appeal to Doctor Who fans who particularly like Matt Smith’s Doctor with Amy and Rory. The art is at times brilliant, though sometimes a bit off, but overall it’s enjoyable, and stronger than the first volume.

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