The Doctor Shops for Comics was a back-up comic story published in the back of Four Doctors issue 1 in August 2015. The story has the unique distinction in back-up comics of actually tying in directly to the main story, not only explaining where the Doctor was after he left the shop in the first issue but introducing a crucial plot element (the "comics") which would be used in the final two issues of the series.
The Doctor loves fine literature, especially if it comes with pictures.
Having separated from Alice, the Doctor heads to the local newsstand to pick up his order of comics. He finds it the civilising influence of the French; although, depending on the era, it can be mandatory. The newsagent tells the Doctor that he just went by...
The Doctor breaks the fourth wall, complaining that it's an occupational hazard of buying comics as a time traveler. "If another me took my comics again..."
The newsagent produces a bundle of comics for the Doctor, who pays with a gold doubloon. He then goes on to talk about his favourite comics, explaining that they improved after he had a word with the writers.
Heading back to Alice, the Doctor plans on reading his comics in the TARDIS lounge if the cafe is boring.
- The comics vendor says the Doctor had just left the store a moment before and the Doctor wonders if it was another of his selves.
- The Doctor picks up what he believes are three months worth of Le Petit Vingtième, noting "full of ever-so-slightly racist adventures!" Although he also notes that that got better after he "had a word". This is most likely a nod to Tintin and his creator Hergé, as his first adventures are notorious for depicting racial stereotypes. The earliest stories were pre-published in Le Petit Vingtième since Tintin was a serial comic at that time. This mention is an anachronism, however, since the story takes places in 1923 whilst the first part of the first Tintin adventure, "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets", was only published on January 10th, 1929.
- This story takes place during Part One of Four Doctors, in which the Eleventh Doctor has split up from Alice to buy some comics before meeting her at the cafe.
Original print details
to be added
- The story is set during the first issue of Four Doctors. In that story, the Doctor drops Alice Obiefune by the Cafe as he heads off to get some "bande dessinée," meaning Franco-Belgian comics. In issue 2, he constantly holds the bundle of comics and he passes the same stand, making a reference to the purchase of the comics. Throughout the following issues, continuous references are made by the Doctor to his "comics" until issue four, where Gabby Gonzalez ends up with the bundle while running from the Voord and discovers that they are not what they seem.