Review by Frank Plowright
Having made his twelfth Doctor début with a short story in Fractures, novelist George Mann supplies a full episode to open Hyperion, a mystery of sickness and possession among those living in a remote country mansion in 1845. He’s again partnered by artist Mariano Laclaustra, who’s managed to excise the cast expressions having the posed look of being copied that afflicted his work last time. He develops the period well, and Luis Guerrero’s colours are interestingly bright, sometimes creating the impression of viewing events through a filter. The Doctor and Clara meet expectations, but surely everyone will see the whimsical twist ending coming.
At four chapters, the title story is Robbie Morrison’s longest to date, and also his weakest. It’s by no means poor, but Morrison takes his time setting up, some elements are predictable (a power hungry politician) and some plot devices don’t convince. Would the equivalent of the Human Torch fall prey to a fire extinguisher? They’re associated with the Hyperions, who arrive on Earth, incinerate much of the UK’s population and enslave plenty more, except some of the dead can manifest as smoke creatures. Morrison introduced the Hyperions in Terrorformer, and they still have a major hate for the Time Lords, and seeing as the Doctor is the only one left…
Daniel Indro hasn’t worked on Doctor Who before, but has been good wherever he’s been seen. He has a loose, gritty style, ideal for smoke and flame creatures, and he’s not an artist to shy away from drawing a crowd, which helps when a scene needs setting. While very good, he’s not British, so he references the tourist sites of London well, but misses the scale of earlier scenes set at Lake Windermere, England’s largest body of water. That’s perhaps too picky, and we should instead be admiring the design of the spacecraft he deposits in it.
All in all, the weakest selection of twelfth Doctor material in comics, but the standard’s decent enough overall, so it still hits average. The School of Death awaits next.