DW: The Warmonger Review

We’re due to resume our look at the Eighth Doctor DWM comics, but first there’s a new collected comics Graphic Novel release to cover in “Mistress of Chaos”, containing the first Thirteenth Doctor comics no less. “The Warmonger” kicks of this new era with an interesting concept and the return of a DWM villain, erm, sort of. So let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

In the City of Radiant Stone on the planet Gatan two warriors do battle for all eternity, oblivious to the fact they’re destroying the local buildings and killing a good number of the local population… All that being said, for those who aren’t losing loved ones it makes for great TV!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Top-tier cheesy 80s designs, right here!

Given the title and the opening panels of The Doctor and co. arriving in a war-torn landscape helping a crying orphaned girl I assumed we’d get a pretty generic “The Doctor stops a senseless war” story to open the 13th Doctor’s comic run, but instead I was happily surprised. Instead of a standard war it was two warriors from a long-forgotten war who were sent into the time stream after a blast and made immortal. Kraytos and Tumat are their names, and they’re completely unaware that either is unable to be killed, and completely unaware that they’re on another planet and wrecking it with their now-pointless fighting. While this is going on there is a TV company (well, some sort of straight-to-your-brain equivalent to TV called “Thoughtcasting”) filming it for profit, the fans at home picking their favourite to “win”, unaware of the fact that it’s never going to happen.

The Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz do what they do best and get separated, Yas running off with a local child in order to protect her, Graham and Ryan being captured by the TV company and taken backstage (which included a look at people in Kraytos an Tumat costumes filming some “extra footage” given the real warriors don’t know they’re being filmed) and The Doctor examines the warriors and figures out what must of happened (something to do with them both existing in the same place at the same time temporally or something…), but is then also captured. She meets the person in charge of the whole operation: Berakka Dogbolter, the daughter of Josiah Dogbolter of the classic DWM comics. She tries to kill her father’s greatest enemy and the man/woman who put him behind bars, but is stopped by a combination of Ryan and Graham crashing through a wall in the Kraytos and Tumat armours and some Venusian Akido.

The Doctor, Ryan and Graham reunite with Yaz and the little orphan girl and our protagonist Time Lord finishes the effects of the bomb that sent the warriors into the time stream which then merges the two of them, making Kraytos and Tumat become a chimera amalgamation of the two that The Doctor dubs… “The Chimera”… Hmm. They then broad… or thoughtcast the orphan girl telling everyone the truth of what happened and then they all leave. As a story it’s not exactly a thrill a minute, but it was more original than I thought going in, so I’ll give it that!

The Bad:

Tondi! That’s the one… Should I change the “war orphan” to Tondi in the previous sections? …. Nah.

Apart from there being not a great deal of interesting characters, I think the only bad thing was this being the first Thirteenth Doctor comic and then side-lining Yaz for all four issues. She runs off with the orphan girl (Tondi!) and then reappears in the final issue with her without any incident, seemingly. I know it’s hard to come up with something to do with The Doctor and three companions, but for the first story you’d hope for a more even spread.

I also found the designs of Kraytos and Tumat to be rather boring, but I’ll admit I also kind of liked how “generic 80s comic” they were…

The Continuity:

I don’t think I mentioned Berakka’s C3P0-crossed-with-a-Cyberman-looking henchman Sandola, but here he is!

Berakka Dogbolter first appeared in the 500th issue special Twelfth Doctor DWM comic “The Stockbridge Showdown”, the events of which are referenced here (although in that story Destrii spared her life so she can redeem herself… erm, that didn’t work out too well!)

Overall Thoughts:

The Doctor does some quick thinking! … Like, REALLY quick thinking…

The Warmonger is a perfectly fine four-issue comic with a nice twist, but it’s also not all that attention-grabbing. I appreciated the good likenesses of the main cast, especially given it was written/drawn before the first episode aired, but at the end of the day it’s only an “okay” story to kick off this era of DWM comics…

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