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Grant Morrison's Doctor Who #1

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2008
By: Thom Young

Grant Morrison
John Ridgeway ("Changes") and Bryan Hitch ("Culture Shock")
IDW Publishing
Reprints "Changes" from Doctor Who Magazine #118-19 (1986) and "Culture Shock" from Doctor Who Magazine #139 (1988)

I bought this issue without checking to see when the stories in it had been written. However, even if I had known that it reprinted work that was more than 20 years old, I suppose I still would have purchased the book. After all, Grant Morrison made his debut at DC Comics in 1988 with Animal Man, and the first 26 issues of that series (which are the ones Morrison wrote) remain some of my all-time favorite comic books.

Unfortunately, these eight-page Doctor Who tales (ďChangesĒ is a two-part story of eight pages each) arenít even close to being as good as Morrisonís work on Animal Man (nor as good as the little that Iíve seen of his initial Zenith stories that he wrote in 1987). Nevertheless, Morrison completists who donít already own Doctor Who Magazine #118, 119, and 139 will undoubtedly want to buy this book as an inexpensive way to get these old stories.

However, Doctor Who completists who want every comic book story in which the Doctor has appeared should probably seek out the original issues from the 1980s since Iím sure there must have been other stories in those issues that are far superior to these slight efforts by a young Morrison who was just learning his craft. Additionally, of course, readers are treated to early work by Bryan Hitch when he, too, was just starting out.

As historical artifacts that appeal to the collector in me, I'm happy to have these stories, and I'll probably buy the second issue that completes the reprint of all of Morrison's Doctor Who Magazine work from the 1980s.

On the other hand, if you're looking for stories with narrative complexity and intellectual depth, you won't find them here.



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