Story Discussion: The Iron Legion (Graphic Novel)

Here’s the story discussion thread for The Iron Legion graphic novel collection that collects the first Fourth Doctor comic stories from DWM. This collection contains the stories: Doctor Who and the Iron Legion [DWM 1-8], City of the Damned [DWM 9-16], Doctor Who and the Star Beast [DWM 19-26], The Dogs of Doom [DWM 27-34] and The Time Witch [DWM 35-38]. I won’t be creating separate threads for each story, so please specify which story you’re talking about in the posts below. Anyway, have fun.

Remember, the first 200 issues of DWM are available on Archive if you don’t have access to the Panini graphic novel: Doctor Who Magazine Archive : Doctor Who Magazine : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

I have read this before, but it’s been a while

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So I finally got around to starting this one and read the story Doctor Who and the Iron Legion (as found in DWM 1-8) last night. And it’s a lot of fun. I understand why this is one Big Finish chose to adapt in their short-lived comic adaptations. This isn’t really a story that could be shown on TV but it’s a great idea. The Malevilus are a excellently creepy villain and the way the Doctor defeats them is great. The scene where the Doctor just waltzes into the Imperial Box while Juno/Magog is ranting about the soldiers not being able to find him is great. The art, while not outstanding, is very good and works well for the story. A definite high point to start the magazine’s comic strip on. I rate it at 4/5 stars.

Read the second story in the collection, City of the Damned (as found in DWM 9-16). I think I enjoyed The Iron Legion more, but this was still enjoyable. There are some interesting ideas in this one as the Doctor helps liberate a city where emotion has been eradicated/outlawed. There are some very good sci-fi concepts in this one. I rate it at 3.5/5 stars.

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So I read Doctor Who and the Star Beast (as found in DWM 19-26) tonight. It’s good. There are some differences between the comic and the 60th Anniversary Special, some of the details are different, but the basic plot is the same. I really don’t see the Wrarth Warriors sticking a bomb inside the Doctor towards the start working for TV. I get that Russell had to change various things, partly because he was adapting a comic story to TV, but also because he wasn’t making a story where the Doctor is the only known character. I don’t mind the new companion Sharon (who happens to be the first companion of color), but she hasn’t stood out to me either. I’d rate this at a 4/5 stars.

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Finished the next story, The Dogs of Doom (as found in DWM 27-34). Another fun story. I find it interesting that we get some space truckers named Joe Bean and Babe Roth. I don’t think you’d get a character today whose name is “Babe”. The art is really good too. I enjoyed the titular “Dogs of Doom”, the werewolf-like Werelox. The arrival of the Daleks halfway through worked well too. And their plot of purging the system and setting up breeding colony was interesting, even if the idea of using alien creatures to breed in better traits into the next batch of Dalek doesn’t seem all that Dalek-like to me. Another fun story from DWM. These are definitely much better than the light fluff of the main TV Comic stories. I’d rate it at 4/5 stars.

There, I finally finished this collection. The last story is The Time Witch (as found in DWM 35-38). It’s an interesting little story that has a very Warrior’s Gate feel to it. I like the idea of the little pocket dimension leeching energy from the primary one and creating the environment with the power of thought. I thought the villain rather interesting and the way the Doctor defeated her was done well. The only downside I have with this story is the aging of the companion, Sharon. And that’s more on an art level than a story level. I thought she actually looked older in the previous stories than she does at the end of this one. Anyway, another solid story, 4/5 stars.

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So, having finally finished this collection, I find it to be strong set of stories. While none were truly outstanding or major favorites of mine, they still all nearly rated at 4/5 stars. They’re fun stories that feel like they’re for all ages. They don’t feel silly (or unlike Doctor Who) like the TV Comic strips sometimes do, but they also don’t feel so geared towards adults that you couldn’t hand them off to children who really enjoy Doctor Who. As much as I prefer my comics in color, the black-and-white art doesn’t detract from the stories or make them feel like they’re lacking something. In reading the early issues of DWM, the comics feel like the strongest part right out of the gate. An enjoyable collection and great read, and just some good Doctor Who. I can see why two of these were what Big Finish chose to adapt into audio and what RTD chose to adapt for his return to the show. Bring on the next one.

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