Doctor Who review: Hidden Human History presents an intriguing mystery across time

The second volume of the Thirteenth Doctor’s own comic series has just been released. Is this an easy Doctor Who graphic novel to recommend?

Hidden Human History is the second volume in Titan Comics’s The Thirteenth Doctor series of graphic novels. Published today, it collects issues five to eight in the ongoing series.

I’ve read a few of Titan’s Doctor Who graphic novels before, with my favorite being Heralds of Destruction featuring the Third Doctor. But this was my first dip into the Thirteenth Doctor, and I was curious to see how they handle the current Doctor. Particularly as usually, the least interesting areas of the expanded universe for me are usually the current Doctors.

You see, with past Doctors, we not only know their whole story already, we also know where the gaps are, and where there’s the possibility of development that we didn’t get on-screen. You don’t get as much of that with current Doctor material, as it has to match up with what’s on-screen as close as possible and shouldn’t push things too far.

Doctor Who

In both the writing and the artwork, the likenesses of the Doctor and her companions are captured very well.
(Photo: Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – Hidden Human History Vol. 2 by Author Jody Houser.. Art by Rachael Stott, Roberta Ingranata, Enrica Eren Angiolini.. Image Courtesy Titan Books)

An intriguing story

Having said that, Hidden Human History was a rather enjoyable read. Across four issues, writer Jody Houser gives an interesting Doctor Who story that develops very nicely across multiple eras. There are “monsters” introduced early on, but the story goes in a direction that surprises you.

Just as impressive is that Houser has a strong grasp of dialogue for all of the characters. The story features a lot of great banter that you’d expect from this TARDIS team during Series 11. None of them go through a huge amount of development, but as mentioned earlier, that’s to be expected when their development is still happening in the TV series.

In particular, I rather enjoyed Houser’s take on the Thirteenth Doctor. While the Doctor has plenty of fun in this story, her quirkiness isn’t too exaggerated, and we’re given a strong sense of intelligence from the character.

Excellent artwork

The artwork is very strong, too. With some of the other Doctors’ comics, there were moments when a Doctor or companion wouldn’t be recognizable. Thankfully, this isn’t the case in this graphic novel. Both Roberta Ingranata and Rachael Stott handle the characters’ likenesses brilliantly, while still creating interesting monsters and recreating historical eras.

Overall, Hidden Human History isn’t a bad introduction to The Thirteenth Doctor. There are references to the previous volume, but a quick recap helps to bring you up to speed, and the callbacks aren’t central to the story. Still, I’m curious to check out the rest of the story so far after this volume. An accessible and easy graphic novel to recommend.

Next: The five eras of Paul McGann’s Doctor

Have you been following the Thirteenth Doctor in her own comic series? What have you thought of it so far? Which is your favorite Doctor Who comic series? Let us know in the comments below.

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