Review: Doctor Who #16
Deadman’s Hand, Part 4 of 4: Series finale! The people of Deadwood fighting zombie gunfighters and cross-dimensional alien invaders! Oscar Wilde debating for Earth’s very existence! Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Clara in a suicidal stagecoach attack! Thomas Edison’s redemption! And the Doctor, sacrificing everything one last time… but is it enough?
The conclusion to Dead Man’s Hand, and IDW’s Doctor Who ongoing, hits this week. The climatic conclusion is written by Tony Lee with art by Mike Collins. Charlie Kirchoff handles colors with Shawn Lee providing lettering. So how does Lee wrap up his story as well as IDW’s six year run with the good Doctor?
The Doctor and Oscar Wilde have done their best to reverse the audit from the T’KEYN Empire and stop the earth from being destroyed. The auditor has been taken over by a strange entity that The Doctor has faced before, he just can’t remember where, when, or what face he had at the time. Meanwhile Clara, Calamity Jane, and the corpse of Wild Bill Hickok that was reanimated as a drone for part of the rogue T’KEYN’s plans are tasked with shutting down a force field so The Doctor and Oscar Wilde can try and make earth’s case. Can Wilde give the speech of his life? Can The Doctor figure out what the unknown entity is? Will Clara and Calamity survive their objective? It’s all all-out race to the finish line as earth’s fate hangs in the balance.
Tony Lee writes a phenomenal finish to his story. Other than Thomas Edison surviving a smaller purpose for the story, each and every character is given equal page time. Calamity Jane, Oscar Wilde, and even the semi-reanimated body of Wild Bill are all given something important to do. It’s a large cast, but Lee delegates roles well. He works in a lot of nods and tips of the hat to the Doctor Who TV show and previous IDW comics. Not that you need another reason to do it, but you should check out The Forgotten. Lee’s final two pages serves as about as perfect a finish to IDW’s spectacular run as you could hope for. Collins’ art is top notch as always. There are a few more aliens and odd mothership interiors to draw compared to the largely old west setting of the previous three issues, so Collins gets a lot of action and oddities to play around with in the finale. Collins draws a dashing Wilde, especially since he’ s wearing the 8th Doctors clothes. Kirchoff’s colors are fantastic, with the final two pages of the TARDIS interior serving as highlights.
Bottom Line: Tony Lee caps off a stellar Doctor Who run in style. He brings things full circle and brings the IDW chapter of Who to a close while still offering a great end to his four-part story. The writer’s final two pages contains a fitting speech from The Doctor about the story and it makes you realize only Tony Lee, the man who delivered some of the best IDW Doctor Who stories in the six year run, could end things in such a manner. 5/5