The Doctor Who Omnibus, vol. 1, collects eight comics by all different authors and artists. The first story and last one are long and the middle six are short. It helps to know something about Doctor Who, the TV show and the character first, but is not strictly necessary. There are some “in” jokes that will go over your head if you haven’t seen any of the TV episodes, but the rest is deducible from context. This omnibus collects stories all about the 10th doctor, as played by the actor David Tenant, and his companions Martha, as played by the actress Freema Agyeman, and Donna, as played by Catherine Tate.
The omnibus opens with Martha and The Doctor are scouring the universe, searching for the perfect chocolate shake. There is a lovely playfulness to their relationship. They end up on a space station where something is happening. Despite any personal danger, they keep up their banter, ending the story by deciding to keep searching for more milkshakes.
As the omnibus continues, it becomes clear that, as they solve other small mysteries, they are being drawn into a larger overarching mystery that connects the smaller ones. The last story has the doctor trapped in a Doctor museum by a mysterious figure, losing his memories and, by extension, his power. Martha runs around grabbing items to show the doctor and then the story flashing-back to the event that item is from, complete with the doctor’s other forms. So you get to see all his other reincarnations, which is clever.
Because this is a collection of stories, the art varies from one story to the next. I loved the cover art, but unfortunately, it is not repeated anywhere inside. Instead one sees art that is more stylized or flat or sketchy. I appreciate a cover that gives me a glimpse of what is inside and this cover does not do that.
Given that there are also different authors for each story, they all do a great job of keeping the feel of The Doctor consistent. The language and rhythm of his interactions with people always feels like the same character (although there is a vast amount of source material for the authors to work from, so that helps keep the consistency). There is a comforting predictability to the character of The Doctor as seen in this omnibus. Not that one can anticipate his every move, but that one can predictably not predict his every move, in a way that is completely in character.
Doctor Who Omnibus, vol. 1
by Gary Russell, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Tony Lee, John Ostrander, Richard Starkings, Rich Johnston, Charlie Kirchoff
Art by Nick Roche, Jose Maria Beroy, Stefano Martiano, Mirco Pierfederici, Ben Templesmith, Paul Grist, Kelly Yates, Adrian Salmon, Eric J, Tom Mandrake, Pia Guerra
IDW Publishing, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: (teen and up)