11th Dec2015

‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.3′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Nick Abadzis | Art by Elena Casagrande, Arianna Florean | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp

dw-10th-2-3-cover

My opinions of the Nick Abadzis stories have so far been pretty positive in the main, his issues being decent enough if not particularly memorable. I’ve been looking for something a little different from him, something that sticks in the memory a bit more. With this issue I think he may well have done it.

In a somewhat ‘change of pace’ move, let’s just say the involvement of the Tenth Doctor and companion Gabby is minimal here. On the one hand, a bit of a shame as I like the character of Gabby, who as a completely comic book generated character yet feels as valid and essential as any of the TV created ones. The camaraderie and banter between Gabby and The Doctor is often a highlight of an issue. The star of the book this time around is technically Gabby’s friend, Cindy Wu, but in reality Gabby’s notebook. Really.

Let me explain. Since Gabby has been having all these wild and wacky adventures in time and space she has been keeping both a notebook and sketchbook (what a great idea by the way), detailing all her adventures, places she has been, people she has met etc and has left it with friend Cindy for both safekeeping and for Cindy to see what her friend gets up to when she’s away. The first 10 pages of this issue is essentially the pages of that sketchbook, which is pretty fun. Things start to take a funny turn however as the book starts to update itself, as new pages and illustrations appear while Cindy is looking.

Things take a twisty turn when Cindy’s friend Cleo Hunsicker, a freelance black ops specialist, turns up as does the very creepy Mister Ebonite, who wants Gabby’s notebook. Things are looking a bit bleak before someone we all know very well swoops in and saves the day. I won’t give way who, let’s just say he is a very popular character in the Dr Who mythology, and one who’s appearance is very welcome. It is a character I always thought as being a perfect fit for a comic book, and nice to see him being used.

The change of pace this issue was quite nice, still quite lightweight in story and tone but fun. The focus on Cindy was nice, as was using the notebook as more than just a background item, and the last page was a great surprise. The art was ok, it suited the story pretty well, but is still a bit too cartoony for me personally. I did like the notebook pages, they were nicely laid out and illustrated, but the main art just felt it lacked something.

Not an issue for new fans to jump aboard, as the returning characters may be unfamiliar to most and the star of the book doesn’t even feature, but nice enough for ongoing readers, and a nice change of pace.

*** 3/5

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.3 is out now from Titan Comics

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