Written by Nick Abadzis | Art by Giorgia Sposito | Published by Titan Comics
As there are so many Dr Who books to choose from now, it is natural to have favourites. This has not been one of mine over time, which is a shame as the Tenth Doctor is one of my favourites. I just feel as though Nick Abadzis’s at times very formulaic and light scripts, and especially the overly cartoony artwork of Elena Casagrande, have not done the character justice. Having taken a break for a few issues, I am back with fresh eyes to see if my opinions have changed at all. Or was I wrong all along? Let’s see.
The Tenth Doctor is currently travelling with not only companion Gabby Gonzalez, but also her friend Cindy Wu, who has been finding travelling through time and space is not quite all it seemed to be. This issue picks up from the last, which I haven’t read, so I had to do a little reading between the lines (and a little peek at the helpful ‘previously’ on Page 1). Doctor and Cindy have apparently found remnants of prehistoric Gallifrey, along with Aspects of the Time Sentinel that were throwing Time Sensitives into the Untempered Schism. Gabby is back on the The Shining Horizon, increasingly concerned by the behaviour of Anubis and by some writing she has discovered.
Turns out Anubis has been acting strangely because, well, he’s not Anubis. Anubis has been taken over by Sutekh, Anubis’s very powerful and very bad father. This is not good, as he was barely defeated before, and that took several hundred people to manage. Gabby knows she needs The Doctor urgently. That could be tricky, as The Doctor and Cindy are in the past, 6 billion years ago, sorting out some other problems with ancient Osirians. Meanwhile Sutekh grows in power, his current splinter-self making contact with his imprisoned ‘real’ self (he’s a bit like a Harry Potter Voldemort horcrux) getting ready to free him. A lot of things are occuring in Anubis’s head, as he confronts the two versions of his father, and fights to retain control. Then some dimensional gate is opened, and bad things start to come through it.
I must be honest, I didn’t enjoy this. It felt like far too much hard work. Far too much was going on, with little to no explanation, terms were thrown around as though we should all know what they were. The Power Siphon. The Circle of Transcendence. The Augmentor. The Time Engine. And so on. I kept thumbing back through pages to try and understand what was going on, why people were doing this, why people were seeking that. It just all felt muddled, overly complicated, not that exciting, and completely not worth the time of someone who had not picked up the last several issues it seemed. Even The Tenth Doctor seemed to be sleepwalking through this, his trademark dialogue and behaviour nowhere to be seen.
The art was ok, but not anything I would particularly praise. It was always going to be difficult for artist Giorgia Sposito, with such an overly dialogue heavy script, as at times the panel layout was seemingly dictated by how many words had to be crammed into it. Not all the way through, but very noticeable. The art was nice enough to look at, but felt a little static, a little flat, lacking in any dynamism or energy.
Although I assume I would have been more invested in this issue if I had read the preceding one or two, as a standalone read I didn’t enjoy this. I didn’t get any of that feeling of fun and adventure you should with Who comics, just a feeling of struggling, as I attempted to finish the issue.
Not my favourite read this month as you might have guessed. Let’s try again next month.
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #2.15 is out now from Titan Comics