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Comic Book / Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen

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Spoiler warning: This comic book follows up on certain events of the Series 9 finale of the Doctor Who television series, "Hell Bent". Those who have not yet seen it may wish to avoid this story and the following list of tropes to avoid many Late Arrival Spoilers, all of which are unmarked below.

The second Doctor Who (Titan) crossover miniseries, written by George Mann and Cavan Scott, is a five-issue story that launched July 6, 2016 (intended as a biweekly release, it suffered Schedule Slip starting with Part Two). It's a 50th anniversary Milestone Celebration for one of the franchise's most popular recurring villains, the Cybermen, who first appeared in the 1966 First Doctor serial "The Tenth Planet". The story is set within the "Year Two" continuity of the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctor Titan Comics titles, and incorporates the new Ninth Doctor title as well. (In addition, prologues published in other Doctor Who (Titan) ongoing series details how it affects all Doctors from the Classic series.)

Somewhere at the end of time, the very last Cybermen have a new leader: the disgraced, exiled co-founder of Time Lord society, Rassilon. Now cyber-converted, Rassilon retakes Gallifrey and the Cybermen are now using time travel to rewrite the history of the universe, creating one in which they have conquered all other beings.


The Twelfth Doctor, tragically, had a key role in the events that led to this unfolding catastrophe: He was the man who bloodlessly overthrew Rassilon when he returned to Gallifrey "the long way 'round", after a horrifying ordeal at his hands that also claimed the life of his beloved companion Claranote . Now he is in a very different are his previous selves and their respective companions/associates: in particular, Nine with Rose and Jackie Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness, Ten with Gabby Gonzalez and Cindy Wu, and Eleven with Alice. How can things be set to rights?


This comic book contains examples of:

  • Berserk Button: When he thinks Gabby and Cindy have been killed by the Cybermen the 10th Doctor goes berserk, using the Cyberking warsuit he is in to brutally attack the other Cyberkings.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Rassilon and the Cybermen. The Silurians in a way, as they have been Cyber-Converted.
  • The Cameo: During the run-up to the event, other Titan Doctor Who comics issues included single page vignettes showing the earlier Doctors having their lives horribly changed by the Cyber-retcon, which were collected in the 2016 Convention Special issue and Supremacy TPB. They featured:
    • The First Doctor and Susan (in a version of a scene from "An Unearthly Child").
    • The Second Doctor and Polly (in an version of a scene from "The Moonbase").
    • The Third Doctor and the Master.
    • The Fourth Doctor and K-9.
    • The Fifth Doctor and Peri.
    • The Sixth Doctor and Mel (in a version of a scene from "The Trial of A Time Lord").
    • The Seventh Doctor and a fully converted Ace (in a version of a scene from "Silver Nemesis").
    • The Eighth Doctor and Josie.
    • The War Doctor (in a version of a scene from "The Day of the Doctor").
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The robot bus driver that drops Ten, Gabby and Cindy at the shopping mall is the standard robot design that appears in various stories in Doctor Who Magazine comics.
    • When Cindy is briefly panicked by a creepy shop window dummy, the Doctor starts to say that you should never underestimate them.
    • The Eleventh Doctor mentions an unhappy anniversary he once had with "Cleo" — that is to say, Cleopatra.
    • The Twelfth Doctor also demands "Take me to your leader" in Issue 2.7 of his solo title, which was released the week before Part One of this story was — and is also written by George Mann. Since in that story he asks "Now, how does it go again? Ah, that's right...Take me to your leader" and takes on an original companion at the end who does not appear in Supremacy, Supremacy's events likely transpire before those of "The Twist".
    • When Rassilon takes the Twelfth Doctor into the Panopticon, there are four giant statues of Rassilon in the background. From left to right they are: the elderly, bearded incarnation from the Doctor Who Magazine comic strips; the incarnation played by Richard Mathews from the Five Doctors; the one played by Don Warrington in Big Finish Doctor Who; and the Timothy Dalton version from The End of Time.
    • The General calls the Doctor "Lord President".
    • It's unusual to mark an aversion of this trope, but the fact Clara Oswald is not referenced despite the fact her fate in Series 9 was a direct catalyst for these events makes for a conspicuously absent continuity nod.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Cybermen intend to recreate the universe by channelling regenerative energy through the Eye of Harmony.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Justified as he was really not in his right mind at the time, but the Twelfth Doctor apparently never considered that exiling Rassilon from Gallifrey might come back to bite him on the butt later — much less that other enemies of his might still be around at that point in time.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: The Cybermen are converting Earth's dinosaurs to serve as both mounts and living weapons on prehistoric Earth.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Part Two, Jackie accuses the Ninth Doctor of being the cause of the crisis in London, and he replies that it isn't his fault. Technically it is the Doctor's fault, but Nine doesn't know his own future.
  • Driving Question: How will the Twelfth Doctor undo the Cybermen's conquest of the universe now that Rassilon is their leader and they have Time Lord technology at their disposal? He can't undo his choice to exile Rassilon due to the Reality-Breaking Paradox it would create, nor can he enlist the help of his previous selves (for one thing, Nine, Ten, and Eleven have no idea Gallifrey and the Time Lords still exist) — but it's a Foregone Conclusion that there must be a way to fix things.
  • Easily Conquered World: Gallifrey fell to the Rassilon-led Cybermen almost instantly, as established at the start of Part Three. Justified because 1) Rassilon was the previous, much-feared ruler, 2) the only person gutsy and respected enough to successfully overthrow him turned out to be The Mentally Disturbed (though he got better) and chose to run away shortly after his installation as the new Lord President, 3) the Cybermen are a mighty military force and started mowing down the Gallifreyan military as soon as they arrived, and 4) less-than-noble Time Lords likely jumped at the chance to reclaim their former standing as a mighty, feared people after the Last Great Time War made them hated by most of the universe.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Twelfth Doctor seems to be easily forgiven by the General for his shooting her and forcing her to regenerate so he could escape the extraction chamber with Clara, as that incident is never brought up and he is immediately re-accepted as Lord President of Gallifrey again. It's possible that the larger threat everyone's facing is forcing them to put such issues aside, but it's still bizarre.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Sontarans force this on the Tenth Doctor by making them their new Field Marshal, since he has more experience fighting the Cybermen, who have already destroyed the Rutans and most of the other Sontarans in the new timeline.
    • In the last issue the Doctor and Rassilon work together to send regenerative energy back through the Eye of Harmony, meaning history is restored to its usual state.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Cyberdinosaurs, that is!
  • Faceship: Rassilon encounters a stone asteroid spaceship reshaped into a giant Cyberman head.
  • Flashback: There's a quick flashback to the early scenes of "Hell Bent" in Part Two (the Doctor telling Rassilon "Get off my planet", the General warning that he may have no place to go), followed by Rassilon explaining what he did as soon as he was exiled, which set up the current story's events. Part Three opens with one to Rassilon and the Cybermen conquering Gallifrey, as recounted by the leader of La Résistance.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: For the Second Doctor prologue. As he is giving his famous monologue from "The Moonbase", he reveals that he has been Cyber-converted, which is reminiscent of his appearance many incarnations later. Even worse, his famous line has been changed due to the Cybermen's meddling in the timeline. It manages to be genuinely terrifying.
    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!" (original line)
    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be... like us!" (changed line)
  • Foregone Conclusion: Expanded Universe Doctor Who works, with the exception of certain Big Finish audio plays, cannot make substantial alterations/additions to the televised canon, so nothing that happens in this story as a result of Rassilon and the Cybermen's meddling would be able to stick. It doesn't help suspense that The Twelfth Doctor: Year Two comics released alongside this miniseries included the storyline "The Twist", in which he takes on a new, original companion who does not appear in Supremacy. Combined with a Continuity Nod (see above) and the same writer (George Mann) on both stories, this story appears to be set before "The Twist". And Cybermen aren't decimating the universe in "The Twist", so... Sure enough, history gets returned to its usual state at the end.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The story rotates between four different locations, with no Doctor aware of what's happening to his other selves, and at no point do any of the lines cross over with another.
    • In 2006 London, the Ninth Doctor, Captain Jack, and Rose are travelling by hovercar, rescuing Jackie Tyler from cyber-creatures in the ruins of their council estate, and headed to a mysterious tower where the TARDIS has been taken.
    • In the 24th century, the Tenth Doctor, Gabby, and Cindy's expedition to the greatest, largest shopping mall in the universe is spoiled — it's now a ruin being ransacked by Sontarans. He has no access to his TARDIS.
    • On prehistoric Earth, the Eleventh Doctor and Alice, seeking a gift for Madame Vastra, also encounter Cyberdinosaurs — and are ambushed by cyberconverted Silurians.
    • And on Karn at a point near the end of Time and Space, the Twelfth Doctor is trying to return to Gallifrey (which is not directly accessible by TARDIS due to a transduction barrier) to figure out why a number of World Wrecking Waves are overtaking the universe...and in the Part One Cliffhanger he arrives to find it has fallen to the Cybermen and their new leader Rassilon. With his TARDIS back on Karn, where Ohila is already a cyber-slave as well, how can he escape and start fixing all of this?
    • The bonus prologues that appear in other Titan Doctor Who titles reveal what's become of the Doctor's previous selves.
      • In Issue 2.12 of The Tenth Doctor, Susan Foreman heads home to Totter's Lane and sees that her grandfather, the First Doctor, has been captured by Cybermen. He tells her to run and save herself.
      • The Fourth Doctor Issue 4 (a miniseries) has two: The Eighth Doctor and Josie Day are captured by Cybermen, and they cannot access the TARDIS due to Cybermats surrounding it. The Fourth Doctor orders K-9 to blast invading Cybermen all while he claims that there is something wrong (he is all out of jelly babies). Cue K-9 about to shoot the Doctor instead, revealing that he has been Cyber-converted.
      • In Issue 2.11 of The Eleventh Doctor, the Sixth Doctor and Mel run after the Valeyard through the Matrix, only to find that it has been compromised — all while the Second Doctor gets Cyber-converted while giving a monologue.
      • The Tenth Doctor 2.13 details the Fifth Doctor and Peri landing on Skaro, only to find out that it is different, where a nearby Cyberman identifies the Doctor and orders to kill him. The Seventh Doctor is ready to blow an entire Cyber-Fleet, reminiscing that Ace would have loved this, only to be spotted by a Cyberman which responds with "Professor?" revealing it to be a fully Cyber-converted Ace.
      • In The Twelfth Doctor 2.8, a knock-down fight between the Third Doctor and the Thirteenth Master is interrupted when the latter is helplessly transformed into a Cyberman and pleads for the Doctor's help. Meanwhile, the War Doctor uses the Moment not to end the Last Great Time War, but to defeat Cybermen — possibly cyber-converted Time Lords — who have tracked him down to the barn on Gallifrey.
  • History Repeats:
    • When the Tenth Doctor brought an end to Harriet Jones's career as Prime Minister in "The Christmas Invasion" over her ordering the destruction of the Sycorax, the power vacuum left behind set the stage for The Master to become P.M. in "The Sound of Drums", whereupon he was able to create a horrible new world. That was undone, but set the stage for the almost-as-bad government of Torchwood: Children of Earth. Turns out the Doctor didn't learn from those mistakes: Having decided to exile Rassilon from Gallifrey and take over as Lord President only to become a fugitive from justice once more over his Tragic Dream to save Clara, he left another power vacuum just waiting to be filled — by a cyberconverted Rassilon, as it turns out. (That said, Twelve was Driven to Madness at the time and his whole scheme boiled down to Didn't Think This Through.)
    • As in Four Doctors, the previous Titan multi-Doctor miniseries, the villains are trying to Make Wrong What Once Went Right and the Doctor must find a way to Set Right What Once Went Wrong in response. In addition, said villains are teaming up with each other and combining their abilities and technology for their mutual benefit; in Four Doctors the situation was an evil alternate universe Twelfth Doctor teaming up with the Voord and their Hive Mind. And in the climax of both stories, one of the villains — evil!Twelve in Four Doctors, Rassilon here — helps the Twelfth Doctor return things to their proper state.
  • Hope Spot:
    • In the climax of Part One the Twelfth Doctor narrowly escapes a Cyberman attack on Karn and returns to Gallifrey via a portal door to summon the Time Lords' help — but then Ohila shuts the door behind him and the reader realizes she has already been Cyber-converted...
    • In Part Two the Ninth Doctor and his friends return to their TARDIS, but when he tries to use it to figure out what's going on, the console explodes...
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Rassilon justifies his choice to become the new leader of the Cybermen by blaming the Doctor for giving him no other options when he exiled him — after all, he had to survive somehow at the end of time — and pointing out that it's also for the greater good of the Time Lords, as it will ensure they can rise again.
  • In Medias Res: Part One opens with the TARDIS crash-landing on Karn and the Twelfth Doctor asking a member of its Sisterhood to be taken to their leader, followed by looks at what's happening to his three other selves in other altered parts of space and time. The Prologues also take place well after the Cybermen's plot is underway.
  • I Surrender, Suckers:
    • The Tenth Doctor makes his companions surrender alongside him so he can get to the Sontarans' command ship and figure out why the largest mall in the universe has suddenly become a ruin.
    • It's possible that Rassilon went along with being exiled with this trope in mind, since he immediately heads off to team up with the Cybermen.
    • Linking Parts Three and Four, the Twelfth Doctor does this.
  • La Résistance: The Cliffhanger of Part Two reveals that there is one on Gallifrey led by the General.
    "Welcome home, Lord President. There is much to be done."
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: As noted above, this story assumes familiarity with the events of "Hell Bent", the most recent Season Finale of the television series (although, bizarrely, the story manages to avoid making any reference to Clara, even by the Time Lords).
  • Little "No": The Seventh Doctor's reaction when he realises that a Cyberman that has spotted him is revealed to be Ace, his companion.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Part One alone has four Doctors, five companions, Jackie Tyler, the Cybermen, Ohila and the Sisterhood of Karn, the Sontarans, the Silurians, and Rassilon and the Time Lords. The prologues from different Doctor Who (Titan) series adds all of the Classic Doctors, the Thirteenth Master, Susan Foreman, Polly Wright, K-9, Peri, Mel, Ace (albeit as a fully converted Cyberman) and Josie Day. Part Two adds the General.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The Cybermen's modus operandi — equipped with time travel and knowledge of all of their past defeats, they are now capable of turning them into victories.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Cybermen have already made a mass of conquests throughout space and time and are about to recreate the universe when the history of the universe is restored to its usual state.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Twelfth Doctor bloodlessly overthrew and exiled Rassilon from Gallifrey in "Hell Bent" as punishment for both his betrayal, capture, and torture of him, which along the way inadvertently claimed Clara Oswald's life, and his atrocities in the Last Great Time War. At the time, the Doctor had been Driven to Madness by rage and anguish, and didn't care that there was virtually nowhere for him to go. Now, a catastrophic tragedy is ensuing that only the Doctor can fix.
  • Pacifism Backfire: The Doctor exiled Rassilon as punishment for his crimes when he could have just as easily imprisoned or even killed him, given that Rassilon wanted to do the latter to him. But because he was consumed by madness and a Tragic Dream (saving Clara) at the time, the Doctor Didn't Think This Through, Rassilon teamed up with the Cybermen, and now everyone and everything in the universe faces conversion or deletion.
  • Reset Button: At the end, the original timeline is completely restored by the Doctor and Rassilon using regeneration energy to undo the rewritten one. This ending also means that this story has no impact on the televised continuity with regards to the Doctor's post-Series 9 relationship with Gallifrey.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: None of the characters have this in the Cybermen's new, highly contradictory timeline, but at the end despite the universe returning to its normal state the Twelfth Doctor remembers what happened and wonders if Rassilon does.
  • Rising Empire: Gallifrey has been rendered this by Rassilon and the Cybermen, with the rest of the universe in their sights.
  • Robotic Reveal: After Ohila traps the Doctor on Gallifrey, it's revealed that this is because she has already been cyberconverted, with the shadow of a Cyberman falling across her face and her irises now a metallic gray. See also Face-Revealing Turn above.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Driving Question is how the Twelfth Doctor can pull this off when he can't undo his banishing Rassilon in the first place. Is there something he can do that won't cause a major paradox? And how, when his enemies have all of his abilities and more?
  • Shout-Out:
    • When the Doctor tells Jackie to shut the TARDIS door, she calls him "Larry", a reference to the "shut that door" catchphrase of the Camp Gay British comedian and TV presenter Larry Grayson.
    • Either Cindy or Gabby quotes "ten-four, Red Leader" during their attack on the Cyber-King.
  • The Starscream: Rassilon thinks of himself as the leader of the Cybermen, using them to conquer Gallifrey, despite the Doctor saying they will betray him. He's right; the Cybermen are planning to recreate the universe in their own image.
  • Taking You with Me: The Ninth Doctor attempts this in his doomed timeline, much to Jackie Tyler's horror as "you" involves not only the Cybermen but Earth itself.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Cybermen's alterations to the history of the universe cause a bunch of paradoxes in the Doctor's timeline — the Second Doctor being cyber-converted, Rose and Jack learning about the Cybermen while traveling with Nine, not Ten (and Rose and Nine ending up cyber-converted), etc. The biggest paradox is that the Twelfth Doctor is the one who exiles Rassilon and allows the Cybermen to encounter him, which can't happen if any of his previous lives are cyber-converted or destroyed! The reason there's no Reality-Breaking Paradox in play is because Rassilon is using Gallifrey's Eye of Harmony itself in the service of the plot. Since the Twelfth Doctor can't stop himself from exiling Rassilon in the first place, correcting it turns out to involve him and Rassilon, once linked to the Cyberiad, sending their regeneration energy back in time instead of forward as the Cybermen want.
  • "Uh-Oh" Eyes: The Tenth Doctor's eyes turn black as he attempts to take control of the Cyberiad.
  • Unperson: Despite this being a direct sequel to "Hell Bent", no one makes any reference to Clara Oswald. While this is to be expected for the Doctor, characters who dealt directly with Clara and who were, when last seen, expressing anger and disappointment over the Doctor's attempts to change history and prevent her death, make no reference to her.
  • Unwilling Roboticization: The Cybermen are subjecting the rest of the universe to this via time travel.
  • Villain Team-Up: The Cybermen and the disgraced Time Lord co-founder Rassilon, the tyrant who most recently subjected the Doctor to billions of years of Cold-Blooded Torture in a confession dial just to learn the truth behind a vague prophecy that may have been self-fulfilling all along. They have turned him into one of them ala Eleven temporarily being turned into Mr. Clever. He is now their gleeful leader, using them to retake Gallifrey and launch a new ploy for the Time Lord conquest of the universe. But will the Cybermen bow their knees to Time Lords forever? The Twelfth Doctor thinks not. He's right; the Cybermen try to harvest the regenerative energy of all Time Lords, starting with the Doctor and Rassilon, once the timeline is rewritten.
  • Villain World: Rassilon and the Cybermen are creating a Villain Universe.
  • Wham Line: In the Seventh Doctor prologue.
    The Doctor: Oh no! Well, what are you waiting for? Eradicate me!
    Cyberman/Ace: Professor?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Incredibly, an entire miniseries set after the events of "Hell Bent" manages to be told without anyone on Karn or Gallifrey making a single reference to Clara Oswald, despite the fact Rassilon was deposed and the General was forced to regenerate as a direct result of the Doctor's efforts to save her — and until she returns to Gallifrey and her death, the fate of the universe remains uncertain. While the Twelfth Doctor has been mind-wiped of his key physical/emotional memories of her and does not know she is taking "the long way 'round" to her death, it appears Ohila, the General, Rassilon and everyone else on Gallifrey have forgotten about her as well, even though she not only defied death, but may well hold a grudge against them for what they did to the Doctor! True, with the Cyber-threat there are more pressing matters, but there are several occasions in the first and final chapters where the question of Clara could have been raised. Then again, this story's Reset Button ending probably would have rendered any such discussion moot. Alternatively, maybe Clara (since she does have a TARDIS of her own) has already returned to Gallifrey from the Time Lords' perspective, in which case they would no longer be concerned with the matter.
  • World-Healing Wave: The regeneration energy of the Twelfth Doctor and Rassilon, sent back through time restores the original timeline.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Multiple waves are spreading across all of time and space, which are most likely the result of the many paradoxes the Cybermen are creating involving the Doctor's timeline.
  • Writing for the Trade: With Four Lines, All Waiting and Loads and Loads of Characters compounded by a great deal of exposition as to what Rassilon and the Cybermen are doing, how they're doing it, and the effect it has on the established timelines, this five-part miniseries has little actual plot and Character Development; the only real question is how Twelve finds and pushes the metaphorical Reset Button to undo the Cybermen's meddling. Plus, the Prologues featuring other characters only appear in solo titles and other miniseries (though the 2016 Convention Special issue collected all nine to serve as its back half along with the exclusive story "The Long Con"). The biweekly release schedule should have compensated for the extremely slow pace, but then Schedule Slip kicked in.
  • The X of Y: In the great tradition of Cyberman stories throughout the franchise.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the cliffhanger of Part Four, the Cybermen decide Rassilon, as well as the Doctor and all Time Lords, for that matter have reached this point and move in for the kill.

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