Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor # 12 continues the Sin-Eaters storyline. In Part 1, the Doctor had been imprisoned at the Hesguard Institute, located in a time maelstrom, for the murder of Tara. Rose discovered that the inmates were being ‘healed’ by Sin-Eaters, creatures that absorb dark thoughts. A Sin-Eater tried to absorb the Doctor’s negative energy, but since the Doctor is so unique, the energy manifested itself into a sentient being.
In this issue, we find the Sin-Eater Doctor going on a rampage, while the captive Doctor tries to convince his captor to release him so he can help. The Doctor also tries to explain why the Sin-Eaters are ultimately not effective.
I found the dark, monster version of the Doctor an interesting idea. It is used to further explore just how much anger and sadness this interpretation of the Doctor holds inside, coming off of the Time War. Unfortunately, I found the execution to be a miss in this issue and it never goes far enough with the theme. The dialogue is a bit stilted and the ending is handled in a too convenient fashion.
Adriana Melo’s art in this issue is inconsistent and seems rushed. It is especially unfortunate because I enjoyed Chris Bolson’s art in the previous issue. The framing in many panels is close and claustrophobic. I could never get a feel for the surroundings of the characters to help me get sucked into the environments that the characters inhabit. The monsters looked properly menacing and detailed, but the other characters would vary from panel to panel. I like the cover. It has a decent likeness of the actors who played these characters and the time vortex has colors that are eye catching. The alternate covers are decent, but not something worth going out of your way to purchase.
Overall, I give this issue a 2.5 out of 5. I found the plot and Doctor’s characterization interesting but wrapped in a rushed presentation. I really wanted to like this issue and I can see a lot of good ideas spread throughout it, I just wish greater care was taken with the art and quality. I have a soft spot with the Ninth Doctor as it was this Doctor that re-introduced me to the character and made me a fan of the new series, but I can’t recommend this issue.
Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Adriana Melo
Published by Titan Comics