When a masked gunman walks into Deadwood and begins to kill people with merely the point of a finger, the only logical choice is to have the Doctor arrive in his Stetson to save the day. Oscar Wilde is visiting Deadwood on a lecture tour regarding wallpaper and general design. It is years before he is to pen the classic Dorian Gray. He quickly finds himself in the middle of an American mystery instead. Calamity Jane is convinced that Wild Bill Hickock is back from the dead, as his body is missing from the Deadwood cemetery. Merely hours after the local Sheriff is killed, the Doctor and Clara arrive in Deadwood via the TARDIS. They gather at a local saloon to discuss the dangerous gunman with the residents of the town. The Doctor declares himself the new Sheriff and sets out to figure out the mystery of the gunman who can kill without a gun. He insists Clara stay behind with Oscar Wilde and his whiskey, but advises her not to discuss literature. The Doctor confronts the gunman, discovering that he is machine, rather than man. Calamity Jane mentions that it may have something to do with Thomas Edison,With Oscar Wilde in tow, Clara returns to the Doctor’s side with disastrous results.
Tony Lee keeps the story light-hearted, but manages to maintain a feeling that something is just not right under the surface. Oscar Wilde is a charming addition to the story, his quips witty and characteristic of the famous writer. Calamity Jane’s insistence that the metallic gunman is in fact Bill grows tiresome after her first few refusals to believe the Doctor that the creature is now machine, even if it once was man.
Mike Collin’s artwork captures the Doctor to its Matt Smith glory. The figures look human (or Timelord), rather than like rushed caricatures done at the last minute. While much of the issue feels like an excuse to put the Doctor back in a Stetson (something I highly agree with), the Deadwood feel stays true throughout, even with a metal monster terrorizing the town. Oscar Wilde and Calamity Jane are also easily recognizable. Charlie Kirchoff keeps the colors earthy, save for a few splashes of red.
The opening to Dead Man’s Hand is strong and hopefully the momentum will remain. This reviewer enjoys the Western feel and absolutely loves that Oscar Wilde is in a staring role. I will definitely be following the full run of this story arc.