Find Out What The Doctor And Bruce Willis Have In Common In The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special #2
by Rachel Bellwoar
The trouble with people knowing more about you than you know about them – it often means they’ve had a chance to catch onto your tricks, and when you’re trapped inside a prison cell you don’t want people knowing that you’ve got a sonic screwdriver and plan to use it to escape. It goes without saying, then, that the Doctor and her fam are still stuck in a prison cell when The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special #2 begins. Mr. Henderson put them there but since Mr. Henderson also overwrote their memories from the last time that they met, they’re not really sure who Mr. Henderson is, or why they look like Santa.
That mysterious voice that spoke at the end of The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special #1 might be able to help, though, and, like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, they somehow end up relocating from a prison cell to the air ducts of Mr. Henderson’s “research facility.”
If any of the Doctor’s companions thought to complain, writer Jody Houser, doesn’t show it and it’s this lack of fuss that almost makes you double take, when you realize that’s where they’ve ended up. Regardless of whether or not they had much choice in the matter, when it comes to traveling with the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham are all-in. A little discomfort’s not going to make them rethink their decision. In good times and in cramped spaces. That’s what “fam” is for.
What makes these air duct scenes great is the whole, secret agent vibe that artist Roberta Ingranata adds to them, like when their new ally pulls out a map and the background for that page, behind the panels, looks like a neon blueprint. Later when they decide which way to go, the characters appear in silhouette, crawling through the air duct vents that are behind the other panels on that page.
In the beginning, Enrica Eren Angiolini’s colors (Shari Chankhamma was the flatter) are a little sickly in tone. The Doctor hasn’t figured out a way for them to escape yet, but the moment that they’re free the colors soften drastically. They’re in the same space so, in reality, nothing would’ve changed but, emotionally, it creates this high point of invincibility. The Doctor represents kindness – soft, like a winter’s snow – and it’s soft colors that prevail over the electric bars of the jail cell (that and a candy cane, but I won’t spoil anything more on that subject).
Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Sarah Hedrick are the letterers, and this is a comic that can be read and enjoyed by children and adults alike. Houser’s writing is tight, so Starkings and Hedrick don’t have to squeeze a lot of text into their speech bubbles, which is better at bedtime and for early readers to pick-up. Houser also does a terrific job with the Thirteenth Doctor’s voice. You can completely picture Jody Whittaker delivering these lines.
The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special #2 goes on sale December 18th from Titan Comics.