Whilst I was sad yesterday in my review of Made You Look that we’d just ended the second series of Big Finish’s Torchwood; that sadness can’t last for long though, as we’ve been graced with a brand new Torchwood Comic series; written by John and Carole Barrowman, this comic series is based in the same universe as the Big Finish audios, and it considered canonical, so how could I resist reviewing it?
Torchwood. Outside the government, beyond the police.
Formed at the behest of Queen Victoria to combat the unnatural threats against her reign, this secret organisation has existed for hundreds of years and in many forms – whether exposing the weird and the strange in Victorian London, or battling Cybermen and Daleks at Canary Wharf — and culminating in perhaps its most iconic incarnation under the command of Captain Jack Harkness: Cardiff’s Torchwood Three.
Saving the Earth and arming the human race have always come at a price; Torchwood has racked up a heavy body count over the years, with operatives and friends Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, and Ianto Jones all lost in the line of duty. The 456 incursion and the Miracle Day event likewise took their toll on those that survived, and both Jack and Gwen retreated from the world afterwards.
But in the face of an ecological, Gaian apocalypse, Jack and Gwen were forced to return to the fight – now ably assisted by the crew of an ice-rigging ship augmented with stolen alien technology – the Ice Maiden.
The world saved once more, Gwen returned to Cardiff with husband Rhys and daughter Anwen, while Jack and the crew of the Ice Maiden left for regions – and planets – unknown!
But the Earth has plenty of deadly secrets still to share. And humanity is never short of enemies…
First issues always have a tough task; they have to establish the characters, they have to tease you with what’s to come and they have to hook you in almost instantly. The question is, does this comic do this? The answer: Yes.
John Barrowman and his sister Carole obviously understand Torchwood; this story is based after the events of their book Torchwood: Exodus Code which I’ve yet to buy, but certainly will, and the story is brilliant. We obviously have Captain Jack, Gwen and Rhys, our new Torchwood Team after the events of Children of Earth and Miracle Day and we have a familiar face or two join the action too.
One thing I really enjoyed in this issue is the way that it introduced the characters to the reader; whilst I’m not a big comic book fan, I certainly thought it was rather interesting, engaging and amusing to introduce characters this way.
As with all of the comics produced by Titan, the quality of the art is top notch; Antonio Fuso and Pasquale Qualano are two extremely talented artists, and it makes perusing through the comic a visual delight.
Considering that John Barrowman himself has said that the comic version of Torchwood and the Big Finish version are linked, I’m really looking forward to future issues of the Torchwood comic to see if there’s any more information on The Committee, as they’re constantly just bubbling away in the Big Finish stories. Who knows, maybe if Torchwood comes back to TV like Barrowman wants, that’ll incorporate everything from the audios and the comics too?
Overall, Torchwood #1 is a great issue that establishes all of the characters really well with a healthy dose of action and the trademarked Welshness that Torchwood is famous for. It’s not the best piece of storytelling by any stretch of the imagination, but what we get in the first issue certainly is a hell of a lot of fun. I look forward to reading the next issue and seeing how the story progresses.