Torchwood #1

by Ian B on August 09, 2016

Written by: John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman

Art by: Antonio Fuso and Pasquale Qualano

Coloured by: Marco Lusko

Lettered by: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt



Torchwood is a spin off of the 2005 series of Doctor Who, starring Jack Harkness, a time traveller from Earth's future who, due to events at the end of the first season of Doctor Who, finds himself immortal. The series follows him and several other members of Torchwood as they protect the planet from both alien and inter-dimensional threats. The series gave me an even greater appreciation of John Barrowman, who plays Jack, than I had from just Doctor Who, and for the most part I found the supporting cast to be superb, dealing with issues that generally were darker and more personal than those seen in Doctor Who. I preface this review with this information because, while I think that John Barrowman is a great actor, unfortunately I don't believe those skills translate to writing a comic.



The story follows Jack after the events of both Miracle Day, the final season of the television series, and another comic series. After being attacked by unknown aliens on an alien planet, Jack calls his ship, presumably teleporting there, where we meet our supporting cast who were presumably introduced in the previous comic series. We cut to an old man being killed by a villain from the television show, and then suddenly we cut to Gwen Cooper, our point of view character for the first season of Torchwood and the only other returning main character from the show, who is then brought to their ship for reasons when they are suddenly attacked by ninjas on flying jetskis. If this summary of the issue seems a bit spastic and unfocused, it's because the issue is spastic and unfocused. At no point is any real plot revealed, characters seem to do things for no reason, and we are left with no idea what is going on or where the plot, if there even is one, is going. As a story, it's a mess of random things happening for seemingly no reason, and not leading to anything that can be seen.



Compounding the issue is the art, which is frankly bad. People's faces look off, they have weird expressions, odd poses, and the scenes seem to jump around from panel to panel, which to be fair may be a result of the unfocused story. In addition, the colours are drab and flat, adding no real depth to any of the scenes and there is an over reliance on just casting shadow on everything to avoid colouring all together.



I wanted to like this book, I really did, but the quality simply isn't here to enjoy basically any part of this. At it's best, Torchwood was a character driven series with darker tones and more freedom in how they could use their characters than Doctor Who. While I understand that they could not use the same characters from the show, they don't do a good enough job at introducing us to this new cast to make me care about any of them. Compounding the problem is the fact that there is also no discernible plot to hook us, as well as poor art, meaning it's not even great to look at. If you're a fan of Torchwood, I highly suggest you avoid this book, there's nothing in it for you. If you're not a fan, you probably would avoid this anyway, which, unfortunately, is the smart move.

Our Score:


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