Once, Jack Harkness was a Time Agent. He went rogue, reinventing himself as soldier-of-fortune Captain Jack Harkness after the discovery that his superiors had erased two years of his memories. A chance encounter with the mysterious time-traveler known as The Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler, put Jack back on the straight and narrow for a time. Yet Jack parted ways with his new friends after a rumor reached him as to where he might find the memories he had lost and soon returned to his old ways as a con-man.
The rumors turned out to be bait for a trap, but the trap was not for Jack! Addison Delmar – another fixer whom Jack had contested with many times in the past – had learned about his newfound friendship with The Doctor and intended to use Jack as a lure for him!
The plot was a success and now The Doctor is in Delmar’s clutches, with representatives of four hostile races eager to pay a small fortune to acquire the secrets locked within the mind of The Last Of The Time Lords. With all of his companions lost in Memgram – the great psychic social media network of the 54th century that allows people to experience the memories of other people rather than just reading about them and looking at their pictures – how can The Doctor hope to escape this fate?
The final chapter of The Bidding War is a disappointment and that is due entirely to the presence of artist Adriana Melo. Melo’s artwork, which seems off-model at the best of times and unfinished at the worst, is bad enough on its own. Pairing it with the excellent artwork of Cris Bolson only serves to drive home just how poor an artist Melo is – not only in comparison but because the pages Melo draws are so poorly laid out as to make the story nearly impossible to follow.
It’s a real shame, too. Once you can understand the flow of action, Cavan Scott’s skill as a writer becomes apparent. Scott perfectly captures the aesthetic of The Ninth Doctor era, with ideas such as a memory-based social-network. Yet Scott also draws upon the rich history of Doctor Who, bringing in an unexpected and welcome special guest villain. The only real flaw to the story is that Rose is forced into a passive role and doesn’t really get a moment to shine.
In the end, this issue is merely average. A good story and a great artist are benched by their association with a less-skilled artist. Hopefully when Year Two begins Cris Bolson will be back as the series’ solo artist.