Doctor Who: Four Doctors 1 (of 5, Titan Comics, $3.99): I'm not normally a Doctor Who reader, and now that I've become aware of it, I've always feared I'd simply never catch up.
But now comes a Doctor Who "event" from Titan Comics that features the stars of their three ongoing Doctor Who titles (the 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors) and their companions. Three at once — maybe I can catch up.
The first issue sets up the premise, in which an alien machine tells Clara, the 12th Doctor's companion, that all timelines and universes will end if the three Doctors in question meet on a certain day in Paris in 1923. So naturally she goes back in time to warn the other two companions not to let the Doctors meet. Which results in the situation she was trying to avoid.
The pacing is perfect and the dialogue is witty. It's written by Paul Cornell, who has written Doctor Who novels, TV episodes and comics. Plus, the art is clear, pleasing and expressive.
Harrow County 4 (Dark Horse, $3.99): "Harrow County" is the story of a teenage farm girl who suspects she is a reincarnated witch — as do her neighbors, who want to burn her at the stake. She escapes with the help of some friends (not all of them human), but discovers some things in the woods that aren't so friendly. She is forced to find out who she is as she is pursued by those who want to kill her for who they think she is.
Writer Cullen Bunn ("Sixth Gun") takes a sharp turn, storywise, in No. 4, turning what has happened up until now as a sort of origin story. So now the real story begins.
"Harrow County" is genuinely unsettling, a testament to both Bunn and artist Tyler Crook, who renders this rural world in a convincingly grubby and rustic fashion. The pacing of both story and art is also extremely cinematic, so I expect to see "Harrow County" turned into a movie or TV show soon.
Rebels 5 (Dark Horse, $3.99): This book is so absorbing, I'm always surprised and disappointed when I abruptly come to the end of an issue. "Rebels" is the story of two New England lads in the 1770s who get caught up in the War for Independence. We see actual historical events from their point of view, although author Brian Wood ("Northlanders") acknowledges he may tinker with history here and there.
It's a well-done historical book about the men who actually fought the thing. The characters and setting feel authentic, and the art demonstrates a raw earthiness. And the main characters are both likable and plausible.
Star Trek/Green Lantern 2 (of 6, IDW Publishing, $3.99): This weird but fascinating crossover continues, with DC's superhero Green Lantern meeting the crew of J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek crew.
I had wondered how they could possibly mix Green Lantern and Star Trek in a way that didn't reduce Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock to spectators. So how to avoid that? I guessed they'd power down Green Lantern, but writer Mike Johnson surprised me by doing the reverse — and handing out power rings like so much candy. So yes, we have Green Lantern and Sinestro in the Star Trek universe. But we also have Uhura, Chekov, Bones, a Klingon and a Romulan with power rings. And things are about to get ugly. Cool!
Contact Andrew Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org