Doctor Who: War of Gods Review

DW War of Gods

Year two of the Tenth Doctor’s Titan Comics run comes to a big conclusion as everyone fights against the recently resurrected Sutekh. It’s a fun story, surprisingly focusing more on some character development than big set pieces. This volume also comes with a stand-alone story from Year Three, just to fill out the numbers, which is obviously less spectacular… Anyway, let’s have an overall look, shall we?

Official Synopsis:

The epic conclusion of the Tenth Doctor’s Year Two adventures! On the Shining Horizon, Dorothy and Gabby become concerned about Anubis’ behavior… portending the return of the terrible Sutekh!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

DW War of Gods 1

Anubis and Sutekh have some nice father-son bonding time…

The Doctor (David Tennant) – The Doctor is on his way to complete his mission for Anubis and help free him, but what is this feeling in the back of his head that everything isn’t going to work out just fine? Past experience, I guess!

Gabby Gonzalez – Gabby elected to stay behind on the Shining Horizon and keep Dorothy company, but why is Anubis acting so oddly?

Cindy Wu – Cindy managed to talk her way into travelling back to the dark times of the universe with The Doctor, and it’s been quite the eye-opening experience, but perhaps not as much as when she returns to the Shining Horizon…

Sutekh – Sutekh the destroyer wishes to… well, destroy all life in the universe, but has been stopped numerous times by a single mortal called The Doctor. Will this time be any different? Well…

Anubis – Anubis is the son of Sutekh, but shares none of his father’s destructive tendencies. Sadly for him, Sutekh has taken advantage of his son and is using him to return to this universe…

Dorothy Bell – Dorothy was a Oscar-winning actress who accidentally merged with a “quantum harvester” and gained incredible powers. She travelled to the Shining Horizon and eventually decided to settle on it with Anubis. A long while later and she has reunited with The Doctor and Gabby, but things are aren’t looking so rosy for Anubis…

Aaron Crossland – Aaron was a tech entrepreneur who created a company called “The Key”, which eventually closed down. He now seeks a new purpose thanks to a breach into the void between worlds…

Plus many more!

The Good:

DW War of Gods 3

Impressive artwork, though why Shenron from Dragon Ball has crossed over to this dimension I don’t know…

The first three quarters of this graphic novel are the last three parts of a five-part story named “Old Girl”, though to be fair the previous two were all set up and a stand-alone story on old Gallifrey, so really this feels like a three-part story. Sutekh is back once again, which is fun though feels a bit old hat, not that it’s this story’s fault. It was released in late ‘16 but I’m only getting to it now, right when a four-part audio story that saw the Fourth Doctor battle Sutekh again was just released! Anyway, he does so through his son Anubis, meaning this whole long arc with The Doctor and Anubis has been leading to this result, which I think we all saw coming really…

As Sutekh returns he brings with him a bunch of other God-like entities that were similarly trapped in the void, including a few enemies from Doctor Who past. That’s all a good bit of fun, especially scenes where Sutekh beats the crap out of all of them when the Doctor rightfully points out that as Sutekh is the destroyer of all life, then he’ll soon destroy them too. It all looks grim until Dorothy, the former movie star turned powerful Goddess, sacrifices her life to seal Sutekh away again. It’s classic Russell T. Davies era Who, The Doctor was going to sacrifice himself, but a person he inspired does it instead because they see The Doctor as more valuable to the universe than they are, which hits him hard (though he always seems to cope with it quite quickly! No time for guilt trips with The Doctor!)

As for Gabby and Cindy, they try and save Anubis from Sutekh, and during which they have a really well written conversation about the feelings they have for each other and whether its sexual or just close friendship. It’s a good scene, especially given there have been scenes hinting at it, though things are still pretty much left up in the air by the end of the story…

The one-part story (that technically came out during Year Three) called “Revolving Doors” was pretty generic, save for one idea they threw out there. When The Doctor realises they’ve landed in modern London, he wants to leave immediately. He hears a cry for help and gets sucked into another adventure with Gabby, obviously, but it’s soon revealed that he wanted to leave because it was London where he lost Rose for good (the first time, anyway…), where Martha turned him down and left, and where he had to erase Donna’s memories of him, effectively losing her as well. It’s a nice reminder that Mr. T. Davies was both fond of London and wasn’t one to give companions easy exits… at least, not at first anyway…

The Bad:

DW War of Gods 2

Now there’s a Doctor Who panel if I ever saw one…

Not really bad, but as mentioned “Revolving Doors” wasn’t up to much. It sees a human manipulated by weird alien octopus from another dimension, nothing unusual there, and The Doctor and Gabby soon end up thrown into a weird side-dimension, where they gett flung about in time a bit, including The Doctor seeing reminders of his previous three companions who he had to leave behind in the recent past. He and Gabby manage to fight back with some good members of the Octopus’s race and then the human, Mr. Crossland, wakes up to the fact he’s being manipulated and sacrifices himself to close the rift and seal the … hang on, this is pretty much the same ending as the previous story! I literally only just realised that as I was typing… Well, there you go, the same ending in both stories featured in this Volume, that’s definitely a bad!

Also there was no note to explain why Cindy was absent from the story (according to TARDIS wiki this is set after previous volume story “Music Man” and she’s having time to breathe after her love interest Roscoe’s death, but this isn’t mentioned in the story!) and the artwork was … it wasn’t bad, but after three issues of the Tenth Doctor looking very much like David Tennant, the Doctor artwork in this issue looked sod all like him…

The Continuity:

DW War of Gods 4

Newbis, I get it! … Wait, why did this happen again?

Apart from following on directly from the previous volume, and not counting Sutekh’s previous appearances (which you can find out about by clicking the link and looking at the previous volume’s continuity section!) there are a couple of visual links to previous stories, specifically the other Gods that follow Sutekh into this universe. We see a God of Ragnarok from Seventh Doctor TV story “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”, The Destroyer, who is also from a Seventh Doctor TV story, this time “Battlefield”, and the Nocturne who last made an appearance in the previous volume, but debuted in “The Singer not the Song”.

As for “Revolving Doors”, nothing beyond referencing past companions, and a reference to the Randomiser being accidentally activated, the Randomiser being something The Fourth Doctor and Romana installed after the whole Black Guardian affair in TV story “The Armageddon Factor”.

Overall Thoughts:

War of Gods is a good end to Year Two for the Tenth Doctor, though having a stand-alone story from Year Three at the end kind of ruins that a bit. The actual end ties up a bunch of lose threads and does so in a satisfying manor, with good character interaction to go along with the major battles between Godly beings. I guess I’ll have to do that rare splitting scores thing for this one!

War of Gods (a.k.a. “Old Girl” Parts 3 – 5):

4 Star Read

Revolving Doors:

3 Star Read

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s