Doctor Who #12
Marvel Comics Group (September, 1985)
US COVER ARTIST: Dave Gibbons
US COVER COLORIST: George Roussos
US COMIC COLORIST: Andy Yanchus
US EDITOR: Jim Salicrup
The Fourth Doctor: “End Of The Line” part 2 & “The Freefall Warriors”
WRITER: Steve Parkhouse
ARTIST: Dave Gibbons
“END OF THE LINE” EDITOR: Alan McKenzie
Star Tigers finale (originally presented in Doctor Who Monthly #46)
WRITER: Steve Moore
ARTIST: Steve Dillon
EDITOR: Dez Skinn
The first story (originally presented in Doctor Who Monthly #55) concludes the Doctor’s trip to the planet with cannibals. The Doctor is introduced to “the Engineer” (not a Time Lord despite what the name implies in this franchise), who is trying to get control of the automated subway so they can find sanctuary from the radioactive city and the cannibals. However, he’s very sick and the cannibals are finding their way to their base. The Doctor helps them get the train and the survivors escape the cannibals but after getting his TARDIS back he goes to the end of the line, where there is no sanctuary and no subway. I can’t say it’s a bad story but I don’t like unhappy endings or cannibals, and this has both.
Our other Doctor tale (originally presented in Doctor Who Monthly #s 56 & 57) seems like a backdoor pilot for the Freefall Warriors, a quartet of strange starfighter pilots with their own abilities. Meanwhile, the Doctor meets an alien named Doctor Asimov, who is a science fiction writer. (I shouldn’t have to explain the reference.) The two Doctors end up taking a ride with the Warrior named Machine Head, who altered his head to resemble his ship, which supposedly helps him handle G-forces better because someday science will work that way. But when a group of raiders come to interrupt the Five Planets Festival (from the removed sixth planet that turned into a planet of raiders) the Freefalls and the Doctors have to stop them. British comic sci-fi is very different from the US stuff and it kind of shows here. I don’t think it would be a series I would collect regularly but it’s a nice idea. They would appear a few more times, as would Ivan Asimov, and the Warrior’s origin was given in a UK issue of Captain Britain.
We end on the last appearance of Abslom Daak in this run. It’s not a very strong ending but it’s possible Moore thought he’d get back to these guys. It’s just the Star Tigers coming upon a fight between Kill-Mechs and Daleks and using the opportunity to destroy a Dalek base. As a storyline end it isn’t very memorable, though it does show what each member of the team adds during space battles.
The comic is worth getting just for the Freefall Warriors and if you’ve been following Daak’s story. I’m not much on the first tale but that’s more a personal taste issue (no pun intended) than anything else.