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Doctor Who and the Iron Legion (comic story)

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RealWorld
Doctor Who and the Iron Legion
Doctor Who and the Iron Legion 1
Doctor: Fourth Doctor
Main enemy: Malevilus
Main setting:
The English countryside, c. 1970s
Alternate Rome, 3021 RI
Key crew
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Editor: Dez Skinn
Writer: Pat Mills, John Wagner
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Colourist: Andy Yanchus (reprint), Charlie Kirchoff (reprint)
Release details
Printed in: Doctor Who Weekly 1 - 8
Release date: 17 October - 5 December 1979
Format: Comic - 8 parts (34 pages)
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DWM comic stories
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You may be looking for the graphic novel of a similar name.

Doctor Who and the Iron Legion — or The Iron Legion — was a Fourth Doctor comic strip published in Doctor Who Weekly.

Summary Edit

A robot legionnaire attacks a small English town of the 1970s. Tracing them to their origin, the Fourth Doctor arrives on another Earth in which the Roman Empire conquered the galaxy with their Iron Legion of robots commanded by General Ironicus, a servant of what he calls the gods.

Escaping from the general and from the Ectoslime in the arena where the boy emperor, Adolphus Caesar, and his mother Juno watch, the Doctor is enslaved onboard a ship travelling home. Joining forces with escapee Morris and Vesuvius (one of the oldest robots left), the Doctor discovers the Gods of Rome are the evil Malevilus, five winged demonic creatures who feed off death. The Doctor awakens the Bestiarus, unsuccessful genetically engineered soldiers kept in storage to create maximum disruption in the city.

Magog, Adolphus's "mother", is unhappy to see the Doctor. She ultimately kills the general. As Magog changes shape to kill the Doctor, the whole of Rome watches on vidscreens and they revolt. Returning the Doctor to the TARDIS, Magog is tricked into being expelled from the craft into an empty dimension. She vows to return. The other Malevilus are attacked by the Bestiarus in their temple, a spaceship which explodes and kills them all.

The citizens make Vesuvius the new emperor and the Doctor suggests a boarding school for Adolphus.

Plot Edit

Part 1 Edit

The Fourth Doctor lands in England. He enters a shop where a scared old man, the shopkeeper, is despairing. He says that something's coming. A robotic Roman enters the shop and kills the old man. Turning to the Doctor, the robot malfunctions due to an impossible calculation of two hearts that the Doctor possesses. It automatically turns off and the Doctor examines its head. He claims that it is fascinating.

Inside a ballista, General Ironicus is in commune with the gods. The Gods find his actions evil. A guard enters and claims that one of the legionnaires has had a brain seizure.

The Doctor now leaves the shop, slightly confused. Outside, Romans open fire as he races towards the TARDIS. He is engulfed in an enormous explosion.

Part 2 Edit

The Doctor is able to escape, but falls into the dimension duct.

At the Hyp-Arena, Maximus Bilious is commentating on the Roman sports channel. He explains that they are waiting for the emperor's decision to begin the games. He interviews Barbarius, keeper of the monsters. The monsters are evidently ready for a fight, especially the Ectoslime.

General Ironicus arrives, but his arrival is interrupted when the TARDIS appears in the middle of the procession. He is apprehended as he exits his ship. The young emperor arrives and declares the games to begin. The Doctor soon realises that this is an alternative Earth where the Roman Empire never fell. He watches from his position at the carnage of the fighting below.

General Ironicus is keen to use the Doctor's ship, but he refuses and so the Time Lord is thrown to the Ectorslime.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Foods and beverages Edit

Locations Edit

  • The Doctor suggest that Vesuvius sends Adolphus to a boarding school on the Ice Planet Cryos Four, run by an order of Lukronianvorks.
  • The Doctor plans to go on vacation to Benidorm.

Notes Edit

  • Although Pat Mills and John Wagner are jointly credited as taking turns to write the scripts, The Iron Legion was written by Pat Mills.
  • The Iron Legion was submitted as a television story, but rejected.
  • When reprinted over two issues of Marvel Premiere, the second half of the story was retitled Against the Gods!
  • The first words ever spoken by the Doctor in Doctor Who Weekly Issue 1 were, "I must stock up with provisions. I haven't had a thing to eat since I took off from Zaggar-Six!"

Original print details Edit

(Publication with page count and closing captions)
  1. DWM 1 (5 pages) Next week: Into the Dimension Duct!
  2. DWM 2 (4 pages) Next Week: Enter the Ecto-Slime!
  3. DWM 3 (4 pages) Next Week: Temple of the Gods!
  4. DWM 4 (4 pages) Next Issue: Against the Gods!
  5. DWM 5 (5 pages) Next Week: Death in the Air!
  6. DWM 6 (4 pages) Next Week: The Beast-Men Awake!
  7. DWM 7 (4 pages) Next: The Final Battle!
  8. DWM 8 (4 pages) Next Issue: Join the Doctor in City of the Damned!

Reprints Edit

  1. DWMS Summer 1980 Reprinted complete in black and white.
  2. Marvel Premiere Issues 57 and 58 Reprinted in colour.
  3. DWMS Summer 1985 Marvel Premiere reprint
  4. The Iron Legion (graphic novel) Reprinted as originally, in black and white
  5. Doctor Who Classics Recoloured for this 2007 American title issues Issue 1 and Issue 2.
  6. Doctor Who Classics Omnibus Volume 1

Continuity Edit


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