The Comic/Audio Companion Debut Marathon enters the “NuWho” era of Doctor Who (and sadly, but not unexpectedly, skips the Ninth Doctor…) as we get the one and only Tenth Doctor comic companion from Doctor Who Magazine, though the first of three comic companions for Tennant’s incarnation of the Time Lord… So let’s have a look!
Synopsis (of “Hotel Historia”):
The Earth has been ravaged by the monstrous Graxnix, but the Tenth Doctor has bigger problems. A Chronal Interface leads him back to the present day, where it soon becomes clear that someone is interfering with time…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
How all great companions get their start…
The Doctor (David Tennant) – The Doctor is travelling solo, but still manages to find himself in trouble, as well as landing himself back in mid-00s Earth again…
Majenta Price – Majenta can’t remember a lot about her past, but she is good with scamming people and making some money… Sometimes.
The Graxnix – A warlike race that conquered Earth in 4039. Their Time Travel technology isn’t considered to be good enough to fight in the Time War.
Jonah Gripton – The twisted head of Thinktwice, a space station prison that holds a dark secret…
Zed – An inmate of Thinktwice, very mild-mannered, or is that Thinktwice’s doing?
The Memeovax – The Memeovax are a form of floating parasites from the void of space that feed off of the memories of others.
Henchman betrayal: the sign that your plans have gone too far.
Thinktwice, as it stands, is pretty simple. The prison that mistreats its prisoners is an old cliché, as is the evil warden experimenting on people (and trust me, Gripton is proper remorseless, grinning evil!) but the main reason for Thinktwice’s existence is to reintroduce Majenta Price and make her a companion with a shroud of mystery around her, and this story pulls it off really well. Not only has she lost her memories, but she exhibits an abnormal power that blows away evil mind leeches The Memeovax with ease, and puts The Doctor on edge…
There are some good moments peppered throughout, The Doctor is strapped to a machine that mines memories for the Memeovax and images of his past DWM companions appear on-screen, Majenta and fellow inmate Zed have a believable friendship / romance, and there are some good action scenes, including a “nearly sucked out into space but desperately grabbing on” cliffhanger.
Majenta in general is a good character, that kind of enjoyable rogue that you don’t mind when she does bad things, at least in her second appearance. Her first, which I’ll get to down below, had her more as a generic businesswoman who ends up arrested and paying for her sins… Still, he final few panels of pretty much telling The Doctor she’s now his companion and then wandering off into the TARDIS was good fun.
It’s better than bad artwork, but it’s still not to my tastes.
Hotel Historia the story is actually quite good, The Graxnix are amusing “stupid weapon swinging villains” and the idea of a hotel that offers trips to the past and future is a fun one, it’s the art style that drove me up the wall. It was very stylised, but just not to my personal taste. Your mileage may vary, but I was happy this was a one-part story because I wasn’t enjoying it at all, visually (which is a problem for a comic!)
Here’s some continuity for ya!
This is somewhat awkward as Hotel Historia and Thinktwice were actually published a few years apart, but since I’m covering them together the only real connection is between the two of them, and the rest of Majenta’s story arc…
Well, unless you count the Graxnix being part of a question in the awful Weakest Link segment from “Bad Wolf” or the past companions seen in the screenshot above…
While Hotel Historia didn’t do much for me, and barely did anything for what Majenta Price would eventually become, Thinktwice was a perfectly fine story, nothing blow-away but did its job of introducing (or re-introducing) us to Majenta Price and setting up her main narrative, so for that if nothing else it deserves praise.