Comic Club: After Life

We read 11th Doctors comics now, 11th Doctors comics are cool!

The first collection of 11th Doctors comics includes the following 5 stories:

After Life
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The Friendly Place
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What He Wants…
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Whodunnit
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The Sound of Our Voices
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Please discuss below - no need to finish it first, discuss as you go along but please add spoiler tags for anything that could be considered a spoiler!

If you’ve previously read the book and want to join in the discussion, that’s great too!

Participating in the Comic Club will earn you a badge :medal_sports:

3 Likes

I read the first two:

#1 A great introduction to our new companion. I like that she is depressed and I think that makes her a good counterpart to Eleven and his goofy attitude. 9/10

#2 This story was fine but nothing special. I would have wished for a longer story for the first adventure. 7/10

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Just read After Life and absolutely agree

Her contrasting 11 brings out a more emotionally mature side of 11 we dont’ really get to see all that often and I realliy like it

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The Friendly Place is a solid 6/10

Fun setting, nice set up, decent plot, nothing too much to write home about. I do like that it’s doing more with the the new companion, showing her skills and more contrasting her depression with surroundings, also some fun set ups. D wish it was a longer first story too though

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What he wants - 7/10

Interesting way to introduce a new companion(?), I like the setting things up here a lot as well, just hope they don’t do what Moffat did with 11 and it actually pays off

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FIVE STORIES!

I have read these before and I know I like Alice but I do remember that the 11 stories go a tiny bit mad!

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I knew there was something I should have read. Whelp, I guess I know what i’m doing this afternoon.

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Whodunnit is a 6/10

Not sure why it’s split into two stories, haven’t read the next part yet, but yeah this is definitely just part 1 of 2, it sets things up well, but can’t give more than taht

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And The Sound of Our Voices is a 7/10

To be fair, it didnt’ help that I knew in advance Arc was joining the TARDIS, I think if I didn’t I’d like it more, but yeah, I really like ARC’s introduction here.

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Five stories: There is a lot to synthesize here. I suppose I will give some brief impressions of my thoughts.

After Life: I appreciate that the new companion is introduced well. I feel like the story gives us a great sense of her position as an established adult, as opposed to the younger age that companions can lead towards. The idea that the nexus of all unhappiness is Prime Minister’s Questions speaks to me. I look forward to seeing Alice in future installments, and prefer her to the Tenth Doctor’s comic companions.

The Friendly Place: A wee bit generic, but it just so happened that I was in the mood for theme park generic. The Customer Service Pig was somewhat cute. Theme parks are never as good as we remember. It further sets up the theme of “what would you sell your soul for?”

What He Wants: Seems like this story is mostly setup for the finale, which is a shame, as I think that the Mississippi Delta could be a fabulous setting if it was allowed to shine. I feel like I oscillate in my feelings towards monster truck Bessie between “Wow, that’s funny,” and “Wow, that’s awful.” I think this story is my least favorite of the treasury. I am curious about who the mysterious Time Lord might be.

Whodunnit: An intriguing enough “murder” mystery for publication, I suppose. The reintroduction of August Hart gives an intriguing vantage point into the troubles of time travel. I start to enjoy John Jones more with the David Bowie allusions. Puts the “comic” in comic.

The Sound of Our Voices: And it turns out that it isn’t a murder mystery, it’s a first contact story. I enjoy a good first contact story. I am curious about how ARC will develop as a companion, free from the mechanical pitfalls of television. I do wish that it could have been a little less obvious that the creature was trying to communicate.

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I love After Life and felt it was very creative in its art style. Everything starts out drab and grey which really brings a sense of Alice’s depression. Then the Doctor shows up and the whole comic lights up in colour. A really solid choice from the creative team. I gave it a 9/10

The Friendly Place felt a lot more mediocre. I like the setting and the Doctor’s reaction to a planet being developed from a pristine landscape into an amusement park. You can tell stuff like this happens to him often as a time traveller. That’s about it though, the actual plot is quite boring to me. 7/10

Haven’t seen the others yet!

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I love the Eleventh Doctor, I love comics and I love Al Ewing (his Immortal Hulk run is one of the best comic book runs in recent years), so I’m very excited to read this first volume.

After Life: 7/10.
A short story and a quick version of the traditional companion introduction story. I truly like Alice; how we learn of her depressed state, and how she is a bright and resourceful when needed. Very relatable, and a good contrast to the energetic Eleventh Doctor. The rainbow dog feeding on negativity made me think of the Psychovores in Revolutions of Terror. The childlike prime minister and baby squid at the end were perhaps a bit too silly.

A Friendly Place: 6/10.
Another story set at a fun fair and once again, the alien has to do with emotions - what’s up with this? Another brief story that mostly consists of plenty of exposition and then a quick build-up of tension before the resolution kind of drops out of nowhere. Really good characterisation of Eleven and we get a good grasp of Alice again, as she is quite happy to hold the baddies at gunpoint if needed.

I’m not a huge fan of the art style on these. I think it makes 11 look like an old man (which, yes he technically is, but I don’t fancy it).

6 Likes

Finished this during the weekend.

What He Wants…: 8/10.

This story takes us to Mississippi in the 1930s, the era of blues musicians making deals with the devils (as in the Supernatural episode).

Rob Williams assumes the writing responsibilities for this one, plunging us directly into the adventure, where a truck-driving Alice steps in to rescue a seemingly possessed Doctor. Williams then transports us back in time to witness the build-up leading up to this event.

Alice has the opportunity to choose the setting once more and expresses a desire to meet her mother’s former idol, who ultimately proves to be far from the legendary figure she once knew. There are some Devil’s Chord vibes in this one.

Bessie is back in an evolved form! It’s a fun nod to the 1970s, but not exactly a huge plot point.

I like the Doctor’s dialogue here; it feels spot-on for Eleven.

We eventually work our way back to the beginning of the comic and begin piecing together why no one notices John Jones and where the yellow-eyed zombies come from.

So there’s a creepy organisation here (SERVEYOUinc) that has been following the Doctor for some time, led by a creepy dude.

We yet again see Alice being resourceful as she figures out how to use the sonic and the TARDIS to help the Doctor.

The resolution is once again very quick and simple (and again feels a bit like The Devil’s Chord). It also leaves the nature of the baddies shrouded in mystery.

Whodunit: 7/10.

Al Ewing returns to write, and the Doctor takes Alice to her first space station to hopefully solve the mystery of the puzzling SERVEYOUinc organisation.

This feels like one of those Classic Who serials set in a space station, led by a useless base leader, where the crew members die one by one, killed by an unknown alien assailant.

I appreciate how this story takes time to discuss the nature of travelling with the Doctor and being his companion, as Alice wants to return home to catch up on her life.

The art style here is quite traditional and cosy. I like it.

This story feels longer than previous chapters because it gives everything more room to breathe.

Alice gets some deeper character development while the Doctor goes off investigating the murders. However, the majority of this is characterised by a gradual build-up, with minimal noteworthy events occurring.

I find Jones very annoying, and I don’t understand why he had to carry over from What He Wants to this story. It’s not like Alice couldn’t keep being the sole companion.

What a great cliffhanger reveal!

The Sound of Our Voices: 8/10.

The second part of the SERVEYOUinc story runs like the final third of a classic base under siege serial. The action is intense as the Doctor and his friends strive to stop the alien from eradicating them all.

The security chief, August Hart, makes for a very traditional Doctor Who villain but is effective enough.

The Doctor takes good command here, like Eleven did in most of his stories, while his companions fend for themselves.

ARC is a fascinating alien, but it’s important to remember that it’s not truly evil but rather a victim of torture and misinterpretation. I also like how it simply wants to learn and does so by listening to speech after the Doctor shows understanding towards it.

This feels weirdly fast-paced, and there’s no real sense of danger before everything is quickly wrapped up.

Seeing ARC become a new companion at the end is definitely interesting. I hope they use it in interesting ways.

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I second @MrColdStream’s sentiment that Immortal Hulk rocks, for anyone who wants to check out some great non-Who comics

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Still need to finish this.

My favorite non-Who comics are Saga and Y The Last Man by Brian K Vaughn. It is great mature Sci-fi.

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God Saga is so good

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Got around to reading After Life last night and - oh my word that was so good!

As an introduction to a new companion, it is wonderful and touching and the Eleventh Doctor is perfectly written. I already love Alice much more than I do Gabby. The whole concept of a companion joining the Doctor because her life is falling apart and she is also grieving is a different twist on the usual introductions, particularly in the modern series.

This sequence actually made me a bit teary - it is so well done:


And then this comment from the Doctor:

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Oh it is just perfect. And there are also some genuinely laugh out loud moments!

Love it, love it, love it!

I have read these Eleventh Doctor ones before but I don’t think I appreciated them properly. Looking forward to the rest of this volume (although I know it all goes very very weird later…)

8 Likes

I’m wavering between 2.5 to 3/5 for A Friendly Place. I like the setting of the theme park and the whole ‘paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ vibe. Alice is still good, but I don’t think she’s given a lot to do here which is a shame. I like the Stepford Wives element but not sure it fully came through for me. Hmm. Actually, I’m going with a 3/5 on reflection because I do like all the elements. I think the art is what is letting it down for me. Some panels are gorgeous (the one of the planet before for example, and the full length funfair panel) but the people are a bit hit and miss.

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The Eleventh Doctor #1 - After Life

I procrastinated on starting this because I had got so into the world of Ten & Gabby that it felt really jarring to break off and start on a different series. I was also a bit put off by knowing that it was going to be a run of short single-issue stories, in contrast to longer stories which I prefer.

Although there were good aspects to this - in particular the intelligent and common-sense characterisation of Alice and the contrast between her grey and depressing life, and the zany arrival of 11 - TBH I found this story a bit too silly for my taste, in particular the way the Prime Minister degenerated into a gibbering wreck. Hoping things will improve.

4 Likes