July Books 31) Doctor Who: The Iron Legion

This is a collection of the Doctor Who comic strips from 1979-80 featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, originally published in the first 38 issues of Doctor Who Monthly; all inked and drawn by Dave Gibbons, but five different stories, of which the first and third are presented as by “Pat Mills and John Wagner”, the second and fourth as by “John Wagner and Pat Mills”, and the fifth is by Steve Moore. The presentation of the material is OK, but I would have liked a bit more information about the first (and subsequent) dates of publication.

The first and third stories, “The Iron Legion” and “The Star Beast”, stand out as the best – I remember them vividly from first reading more than a quarter-century ago – and from what is said in the introduction I guess Pat Mills, who was also the first editor of 2000 AD, deserves the credit for that. They are pretty good examples of the comics medium, and while the Doctor of the drawn page isn’t always exactly like Tom Baker’s portrayal in appearance and manner, I think that the two “Mills and Wagner” stories stand on their own merits.

All three writers and Gibbons as the artist, however, get credit for Sharon, who was (unless, dear reader, you know better) the Doctor’s first non-white companion, joining him as a result of sheltering the Star Beast and sticking around for the whole of the second half of this collection. Not that they do a lot with her, but it’s a point worth noting for completists.

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1 Response to July Books 31) Doctor Who: The Iron Legion

  1. nimbusxl says:

    I’m up to the 7th of December in this audiobook, agreed that the book is taking some nice twists and turns especially the Rory/Doctor twist, I hope you go back and finish the audio version as Clare’s reading is excellent. I particularly like her Marie character. No doubt you went down the direct from audio go route as its not available any other way, I found the multi files a bit of a chore, ended up getting some freeware to join the audio tracks all together to make it one file otherwise my iPod looks a mess, no chapter points sadly but at least the iPod remembers where I left off.

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