Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Adriana Melo | Published by Titan Comics
This is a book on the up at the moment. It has been fair-to-middling for most of its publishing life, which although not bad places it near the bottom of the pile of Doctor Who titles being published. The previous UNIT story arc was a pretty good move in the right direction, and last issue’s beginning of the ‘Slaver’s Song’ arc also promised much. I especially liked the mixing up of the status quo, as the solid team of The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack had a new travelling companion in their midst, 1970′s UNIT stowaway Tara Mishra.
Last issue saw the team in Seventeenth Century Brazil, where while dealing with some Portugese slavers Jack was amazed to find one of them recognised him as a priest, Father Horta. While he and Rose went off to find out what all that was about, The Doctor did what he does best and started investigating local stories of water monsters, and managed to promptly turn up two of them. Aliens, that is. Which is where this issue starts, as the two water creatures fight amongst each other while everyone else tries to escape. The Doctor and Tara both learn quickly as well that having a novice companion in tow could be something of a liability. Escape they do though.
Meanwhile, Captain Jack and Rose have found Jack’s old bolt hole, complete with secret basement stuffed with all his Time Agency tech. Jack’s wish to recover his missing memories though may be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for…’. The last mission Jack was working on before his mind wipe involved a certain Zloy Volk, a man he had killed under orders but who seemed to have reappeared alive. Curiouser and curiouser as Alice said. Meanwhile irony is in full flow over at The Doctor and Tara’s adventure as it turns out the two aliens killing Portugese slavers are themselves in hiding from their own kind, a race of slavers called The Sereia. The Sereia promptly pitch up and take everyone prisoner, and plan to enslave the Earth to replenish its stock of ‘indigenous bipeds’.
Of course, The Doctor has dealt with worse than this before breakfast many times, and one sonic screwdriver spaceship crash later, The Sereia have been mind controlled themselves into becoming Yiara’s slaves, Yiara being the female mermaid like alien. Tara doesn’t like this, the slavers in turn become the slaves, as it’s not something she thinks heroes do. This angers The Doctor, still damaged as he is by the things done during the Time War. Idealism is nice, but realism gets things done. Tara’s discontent is bad enough, but the real bombshell comes from Captain Jack, as he announces he is breaking up the team and leaving. Actually, we get thrown an even bigger bombshell on the last page, which can’t be true. Can it?
Overall, a mixed bag for me this issue, but generally a good issue. The story itself peaked last issue, with the setup proving better than the resolution. What promised a lot sort of fizzled out, with the Captain Jack development especially going nowhere. I wonder if he is getting his own limited series, hmmmm. The wrap up all seemed very hurried and far too pat. I did enjoy the characters and dialogue however, Cavan Scott certainly breathes some personality and life into them. The dialogue, emotion, and interaction seems very true to the characters, something not all writers pull off. Adriana Melo did a very nice job on the visuals, good clean lines, nice layouts, and good capture of emotions on faces throughout. Nice likenesses as well.
Another decent story arc under the belt, and this title has maintained a nice consistent level. Now let’s see if Cavan Scott can raise the bar.
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #10 is out now from Titan Comics.