FCBD 2015 – 2000AD vs. Doctor Who


2000AD


It’s the battle of Britain this year, as the galaxy’s greatest comic went toe-to-toe against the galaxy’s greatest Timelord. 2000AD has consistently made their Free Comic Book Day offerings an almost essential pick, but against the mighty juggernaut of sci-fi favourite Doctor Who who could possibly win out?

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2000AD:

Once again this one was locked and loaded, delivering 48 pages of cover-to-cover brilliance. There were reprints and sneak peaks, along with full original stories told in the usual darkly comedic and ultraviolent manner. Also, again there were some sneaky jokes on the cover parodying the giants of the industry, “PC Comics” and “Wobble”. Not only that but the fine-print droid inserted some more hard-to-find digs at other FCBD contenders, saying that Thor was a woman and how much better their comic is than Pokemon and “Doctor Thingybob”.

Yes, the gloves were off and this one meant business. Judge Dredd was his usual reliable self, Slaine and Nemesis the Warlock both accounted for themselves honourably, but the absolute surprise was Death Rock. This was one for old-timer fans like me, and the reveal of Harry 20 suddenly brought back a lot of old (and brilliant) memories as the Hard Rock convict made his triumphant return.

2000AD has consistently come up with new ways to push the envelope and to make the most of FCBD and every page they print for it. This time around they’ve even doubled the value by including scannable aztec barcodes so that you can download even more comics to your phone or kindle, and read more stories of the characters on display. I know it’s free, but the sheer value for the readers here is phenomenal.

Read a preview of the comic here: freecomicbookday.com

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Doctor Who:

Hopes were high for Titan Comics’s release and with three tales and three Doctors on display it could have been an ideal jumping-on point for newcomers and satisfied every fan. Instead it was a mixed bag. The first story with the 12th Doctor looked good but felt flat and rushed. Given that it’s the Doctor’s comic it also seemed odd to have a story which focused on his companion Clara instead. Not the best of starts, but maybe they’ll learn from this in the future.

The second story, however, was a revelation. The 11th Doctor visits FCBD in London, where it turns out that one of the comics is an alien idea-virus that’s spreading across the world the more people read it. That’s absolutely genius, and the end of the story is incredibly touching and something all creators – of any kind and at any level – can relate to.

The third story with the 10th Doctor is a middle ground one. It’s a decent, intriguing story hampered by just how short it is. When the Doctor puts some muddy clothes and his sonic screwdriver in the TARDIS washing machine, what comes out is pure Doctor Who story madness!

This was a good comic that could have been great. It was entertaining enough and the variety of Doctor incarnations made sure there was something for most of the fans, but it also seemed to be missing something. Maybe it was the first story that brought the rest of it down, or maybe it needed a little more excitement, but it wasn’t all it could have been.

Read a preview of the comic here: freecomicbookday.com

So which of these two British icons stood tall? It has to go to 2000AD, who showed that experience counts for a lot. They really know how to deliver a complete package that keeps the readers occupied for hours. That being said, Doctor Who was a great new addition to FCBD, and that second story is one of the best and smartest in any comic this year.

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