Doctor Who Classics #3: Nemesis of the Daleks – Review

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Dr Who Classic 5With the 50th Anniversary buzz for Doctor Who reaching a fevered pitch, IDW has released some of the Classic Doctor Who comics. Originally printed in Doctor Who Magazine Issues #152-154 in 1989, the reprint of Nemesis of the Daleks allows a younger generation to see the classic Doctor representation and allows those who read it in 1989 a bit of reminiscence.

Tthe usual influence of the TARDIS, the 7th Doctor finds himself landing near a crashed spaceship on a planet called “Hell.” He discovers the dead body of a Draconian prince, an Ice Giant, the cryogenically frozen body of a female humanoid, and very much alive Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer. According to the Doctor, Absalom has only two speeds; “…hatred and frenzied hatred.” Absalom explains that the preserved female body in his crashed space ship is the only woman he has ever loved, and that the Daleks killed her. The two partner to discover what the Daleks are doing enslaving the Helkans, or residents of planet Hell. They capture a Dalek ship and find themselves aboard Dalek headquarters, where the robotic masterminds are creating a death wheel. Captured, the Doctor must rely on Absalom to rescue him.

Richard Starkins and John Tomlinson (known as Richard Alan and Steve Alan when the Nemesis of the Daleks was originally printed) give the reader a very Conan the Barbarian-eque creation in Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer. Absalom has a title relating to his nature, leather armor, and a sword that appear to be very chainsaw like. The character is campy and enjoyable, as is the story. The Helkans suffer much as the Israelites did in Egypt, but instead of constructing pyramids they are mining for deadly gas to act as a weapon for the Daleks.

Lee Sullivan’s classic work details the features of Sylvester McCoy with his bumbling jovial visage. His look of curious excitement is well portrayed. Sullivan’s artwork gives the Helkans the appearance of something almost Native American. While modern readers may view this as a race issue, it was seen more as a plot device in 1989. The Daleks are portrayed in their silly, yet somehow terrifying classic form; plunger and all.

IDW does Whovians a great service in providing the reprints of these Classic Doctor Who comics. Instead of having to dig through old copies of the magazines, desperately searching for that one story arc, modern readers are given the chance to snag a copy in a much easier fashion. Thanks to IDW, the story of Absalom Daak and the 7th Doctor are available to a new generation of Whovians and comic book fans.

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