“I’m the Doctor.”
“Just The Doctor.”
This running gag has been around since nearly the beginning of Who-dom and really is a defining statement about The Doctor. He is just that, The Doctor. No more, no less. And Doctor Who Classics #4 from IDW Publishing continues this tradition with reprints of some of the great classic tales from Doctor Who Magazine.This issues brings us three stories from 1989 and 1990 issues of Doctor Who Magazine.
The first story is the conclusion to the story “Nemesis of the Daleks”, where The Doctor and Abslom Daak have to stop the Daleks from destroying an entire world’s population. This is an action packed story that has some major twists and turns and a stunning conclusion that makes it a difficult story to read. Suffice it to say that The Doctor leaves the Death Wheel alone again.
Each story was originally printed in black & white. IDW has done a great job of coloring these old strips and bringing some vibrancy to The Doctor’s adventures that make them even better. This way, you never feel like you are just getting an old reprint issue, but a new piece of the Doctor Who universe.
As you can see in the two images, the black & white from Doctor Who Magazine in 1989 and the color image from the new Doctor Who Classics #4, the colors make a great improvement in the story. The best thing here is that the rest of the artwork remains intact, no changes to the original ink.
The next story, Stairway to Heaven, may be seen as a statement of the disconnectedness between the artist and his art. In this case, a genetic artist, creating programmed creatures to build a world a stairway to heaven and the first to emerge would be the masterpiece. The Doctor is appalled at the disregard for life and goes to confront the artist, in the process saving the one remaining creature. Art meets artist and only sadness can follow.
The final two stories are a two-parter, The Hunger from the End of Time. The Doctor goes to a huge library called Catalog to peruse the stacks but the Tardis is caught in a trap and he instead meets up with a team of soldiers trying to deal with an infestation of bookworms. The Doctor has more questions than answers.
In part two, the Doctor finds that these creatures are agents of chaos that should be relegated to the beginning or end of the universe. The new technology of Catalog has drawn these creatures and could cause a major catastrophe if not corrected. The solution? Simply zap all the printed books back out of the time vortex they were placed in. Unfortunately, this leaves a mountains of uncatalogued books that need sorted. As the soldiers bemoan the situation and work to be done, The Doctor quickly exits stage left. Fix it and run, as usual.
This is a really good book, bringing back some great stories that otherwise may have been forgotten. The fact that they are now colored adds life back to these tales. My recommendation: It would definitely be-“Who”-ve you to pick up this book.