06th Jun2016

‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.10′ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

10th-dr-who-2-10-cover

Although for me this has overall been one of the weaker Who titles, in recent issues I’ve found myself warming more to it. Interestingly enough, that coincided with both Eleonora Carlini and Elena Casagrande taking a break from the art chores. As I have pointed out before, I think Carlini and Casagrande are perfectly decent artists, but just don’t think their manga influenced, all-ages style works here. Certainly not for me anyway. Perhaps   scripter Abadzis had been keeping his tone light to match the accompanying artwork, as my criticism of him until recent weeks had been a lack of inspiration, his scripts lacking the spark in the other Who books. The last two issues though were stronger, and my hopes were higher going forward.

Last issue had seen The Doctor solve the mystery of the ‘wishing well witch’ in  which the witch, (try saying that fast) turned out to be made up of ancient Gallifreyan children, children who had been thrown into the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey many centuries ago. The children had effectively been trapped, unable to regenerate or free themselves. This has, as you can imagine, badly shaken The Doctor, sensitive as he is to anything involving his home planet, and he has not been fully open with his companions, Gabby and Cindy. His absent mindedness also sees the TARDIS suffer an attempted breach before he seals it.

Cindy finds herself, during the breach event, seemingly tossed below decks into the infinite corridors of the TARDIS, until opening one of the mysterious doors seems to indicate otherwise, when mysterious creatures try to grab her. Turns out Cindy has fallen into a bubble dimension, created by the TARDIS during the breach attempt. The Doctor decides on a very risky gambit, (when doesn’t he?), and manages to pull Cindy out before the dimension collapses. The Doctor realises there has indeed been a breach, and Gabby theorises it may be Anubis. Abadzis throws us a little teaser at the end to show us that although it wasn’t Anubis, it certainly seems to involve the Osirans. Which is not good obviously.

This was again a good read. I was initially a little disappointed that we didn’t pick up on the Gallifrey threads from last issue straight away, then realised that was probably being held back for the last couple of issues of the Year Two run. Instead we had a fill-in issue of sorts, almost completely set on the TARDIS, that was entertaining enough but was mainly fulfilling a purpose by allowing developing sub-plots. The dialogue was fun, especially The Doctor’s ‘timey winey’ lingo, and I’m guessing that putting Cindy in harm’s way again was deliberate, as pretty soon Cindy’s going to admit this travelling through time and space lark is not for her. Had the feel of a TV episode for me, which I liked.

Now, the art. I think you know what I’m going to say with the return of Elena Casagrande to the art chores. Well, you’d be wrong. I thought the art here was a lot better than previous issues. The manga elements have been reined in, the style has been tightened up, and the art feels that bit more substantial. The likeness of David Tennant is also much better, he looks more his age than that teen pretender we saw before in Casagrande’s work. Casagrande also kept the visuals interesting, be it scenes in the main TARDIS control room or the vortex or bubble dimension. Thumbs up from me.

I’m pleased the book seems to be gathering momentum as it approaches the end of Year Two, making it a book I look forward to now rather than one I felt was underperforming.

The (Tenth) Doctor is most definitely in.

**** 4/5

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.10 is out now from Titan Comics

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