It’s time to cover the fourth, final and titular story in the “Mistress of Chaos” collected release… “Mistress of Chaos”! The story covers quite a bit of ground and is highly connected to the first two stories of this graphic novel, making it feel close to the old Eighth Doctor “story arc in a graphic novel” format, though admittedly not anywhere near the heights of those… which few are, to be fair! So how does Mistress of Chaos stand on its own? Let’s find out!
The Doctor has made the news! … as public enemy number 1. Berakka Dogbolter is using her influence over the media to manipulate the public into hating her enemy, but soon their rivalry will have to be put aside when a much bigger problem arises…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
A rare angry 13th Doctor! … Well, rare before Series 12, anyway. I wonder if this being coloured mostly in blue is a hint of things to come…
It’s fitting that this story is so strongly connected to “Herald of Madness”, because this story has a similar feel, not just in tone and characters used obviously, but how the biggest highlight was an unexpected twist cliffhanger.
The Doctor finds out she’s been painted as a villain by Breakka Dogbolter, so turns up at her house to threaten revenge against her. Ryan, Yaz and Graham arrive to make sure The Doctor doesn’t do anything uncharacteristic but soon they’re all assaulted by a trio of people who worship the Catastrophea, the crazy dimension that we saw the Herald breakout from two stories ago. The Doctor, Brekka and Graham are teleported to the insane dimension and survive in a small pocket of stability in the otherwise chaotic realm, but see no chance for escape. Brekka holds true to her personality and only accepts The Doctor’s help to escape so long as she makes sure her enemy knows it’s only a temporary thing. As they travel across the realm they meet The Herald, now chained up and in a great deal of pain, so The Doctor makes contact with its mind to calm it down finds out that the mad entity didn’t copy her appearance in their previous encounter, instead it was the creature’s natural appearance… because it’s The Doctor from her own future!
Great reveal. Apparently The Doctor goes mad and gets warped while in this dimension and becomes The Herald, but then things get more confusing as a solid blue version of her appears calling herself The Sanity appears. She claims to be a being of pure reason and logic and has a plan to slam both the regular universe and the Catasrophea together in order to destroy the latter… along with most of the actual universe. The Doctor pegs on that these two versions of her are just two possible futures made reality due to the mad rules of this dimension, so gets herself in a position where she can tackle one into the other and the three of them become one. Graham talks The Doctor out of staying behind (not entirely sure why The Doctor felt she had to stay behind, if I’m honest) and the two of them, along with Brekka, leave in the TARDIS, which soon arrives (I’ll get to that bit in the next section)
When they get back The Doctor is cheered up by seeing old Fourth Doctor DWM companion Sharon as a news broadcaster telling the opposite story about The Doctor, instead focusing on how much she helps people and all that jazz. It’s a good storyline, especially the big reveal, and some of the artwork is top notch, especially when everyone is in the Catastrophea dimension.
So much going on in this panel, so little of it is any good…
You’ll notice I didn’t mention what Ryan and Yaz were doing during this time. Well, they team up with Brekka’s robot servant Sandola and a mysterious woman simply called “Mother G” in order to rescue The Doctor. During their escapades they’re attacked by weird Irish stereotype demon things and Mother G controls the TARDIS due to it “owing her some favours” and I was just… not impressed. Ryan and Sandola seem to have some sort of romantic relationship, which his sort of funny and sort of weird, and The Doctor is shocked to find out Mother G’s identity, but we don’t know what that is yet. It all came across as the writer really wanting to add a new big lead character to the canon, but I can’t imagine her identity will be all that satisfying. It also calls back to the whole Renegade Doctor from the most recent series, though I imagine this was written before that aired, to be fair to it.
I’ll also mention that Brekka is a rather plain character with zero personality beyond “evil business woman”. Bringing her back so soon but still not actually developing her character is disappointing, we’ve moved on from the Josiah Dogbolter-style literal comicbook villain, it’s alright to add one or two layers to the character, even if it’s just a little hint…
Feels too soon to have two 13th Doctors meeting! … Oh wait, it’s not really. Or is it? Sort of? …. Never mind.
Brekka Dogbolter and Sandola both last appeared in the first story in the 13th Doctor’s DWM run “The Warmonger”, whereas The Herald first appeared in the story that followed, “Herald of Madness”. That’s about it, apart from Sharon, who debuted in the Fourth Doctor DWM story “and the Star Beast” and was last seen in the 500th Issue celebration story “The Stockbridge Showdown”, which is also where Brekka debuted…
One more look at the shiney diamond Doctor, purely because there aren’t that many pictures of this story online.
Mistress of Chaos had some really nice artwork, particularly in the Catastrophea, and the core story had some nice twists, but the non-Doctor part of the story failed to impress and drags the story down a bit. Still worth giving a go though, if you have the time and/or money. Who knows when the next DWM 13th Doctor graphic novel is coming, as they only did one more story before switching to some old issues and then a new Ninth Doctor one for the Time Lord Victorious strand, so it might be quite a while! There’s always the Titan Comics to come next year, mind you…