05 April 2015

DWM: The Love Invasion

The Love Invasion was Doctor Who Magazine's first Ninth Doctor comic strip, starting in April 2005. It sees Christopher Eccleston's Time Lord and Billie Piper's Rose journey back to London in the swinging sixties - 1966 to be precise. 

Conceived by Gareth Roberts and then-DWM editor Clayton Hickman, The Love Invasion tells a different type of conquest-of-Earth story to usual; here the villain Igrix is all for helping humanity out. The story begins with an investigation into the Lend-A-Hand business, a group fronted by girls going around helping people out - at no cost. Further suspicions are aroused when a shiny new housing development is discovered on the site of what Rose will one day know as the Powell Estate. 

It turns out that Igrix is one of a race decimated by humanity centuries in the future. He's come back to prevent that happening - by destroying the Moon. Now before you start fearing for the giant space dragon thing that's cooking in there, there's no need for alarm as the Moon remains unscathed at the end of this tale. By destroying it though, Igrix hopes that humanity will never venture beyond Earth and thus won't wipe out his race. By way of compensation, his girls are here to lend a hand. 

This is a blissfully straightforward tale. It's a great introduction to the world of the Ninth Doctor comics, and holds the distinction of being the only one published whilst Eccleston was the Doctor on TV. It's fun, frivolous and a little bit cheeky. Russell T Davies was bang on when he commented that Roberts had the Ninth Doctor down to a tee. The same could easily be said for his take on Rose too. This has a very original feel to it, and a vibrancy that's infectious. Roberts has a way of making even the more predictable scenes enjoyable. And of course there's a twist in the tale.

Also impressive is Mike Collins' artwork. He's undoubtedly at his best when drawing faces close up, but every panel is dynamic and exciting, crucially making the reader want to continue. It's also very nicely coloured by Dylan Teague. The period details - in drawing and colour - feel authentic and look great. 

All in all this is a great start to the Ninth Doctor's illustrated adventures. Filled with the wit, imagination and vivacity you'd expect from Roberts and Hickman, The Love Invasion is a pleasantly easy read and completely suited to its medium. 

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