24th Aug2017

‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #3.8′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Nick Abadzis | Art by Giorgia Sposito | Published by Titan Comics

DW_10D_3_8_Cover_A

So here we are, Part 3 of the Vortex Butterflies arc, which I like for two reasons. One, the title. Vortex Butterflies sounds like a pretty cool band name anyway, but a great story title. Secondly, the fact this is a four part arc. Most of the Who titles tend to focus on 1 or 2 part stories, keeping the jumping on points for each book as flexible as possible for new readers. To have a four issue arc is like a little reward for long time readers. Thumbs up editorial and Nick Abadzis. Now, where were we?

Last issue saw a rather fab cameo by Sarah Jane Smith, as Cindy and Gabby cooled their heels in 2009 London while The Doctor went off on his own to find some tech and solve a mystery. He gained a new companion of a sort, a sentient robot called Marcie, and we saw some indications that big bad Sutekh may be on the rise again. On a more human level, Sarah Jane’s arrival was a reminder to Gabby that The Doctor probably means more to her than she does to him. She is, to be blunt, another in a long line of companions, one that in time will be replaced herself. Gabby is probably at her lowest since meeting The Doctor it seems.

The Doctor, as he always is when chasing a mystery, is having a great time. Following leads he has found a rogue star system that should not exist, on the very far reaches of the universe. The Doctor wants to investigate a mysterious object he has located, but even the TARDIS is reluctant to venture there. This is why The Doctor needs companions, to temper his impulsive behaviour. His current companions though, Gabby and Cindy, are not doing too good, with Gabby lashing out at Cindy over her own insecurities and perception that her relationship with The Doctor is built on sand. Cindy seems the realist to Gabby’s dreamer. There’s always Sarah Jane to offer sound advice, which she does of course.

The Doctor meanwhile has been trying to engage with the entity who has created a makeshift place in the empty space. A place where no place should be. The Doctor theorises it is some form of elemental force, but one with a peculiarly human way of looking at space and time. The entity finally engages with The Doctor, but is unfortunately not as friendly as The Doctor hopes. Not only that, it accuses him of leaving it there, of making it what it is, of being someone who messes things up and ruins things. Someone deserving of the ill will of many races. All that is worrying enough for The Doctor, but when it uses the very human word ‘gizmos’, The Doctor starts to put two and two together…..This will not end well.

Another solid issue, making good use of all the characters this issue, all given their moment to shine. Sarah Jane is the companion The Doctor left but who has long made peace with that, Gabby the one who is struggling to accept that may happen to her too. Cindy is more the ‘enjoy it while it’s here’ type. The Doctor meanwhile is doing what he does when left to his own devices, getting into trouble. Though this time, the trouble may be caused by someone a lot closer to home it is starting to seem. Nice little mystery to end on. The art by Giorgia Sposito was, as always, clean and consistent but lacks a little energy at times. She is great at the character stuff, when characters are talking, sitting etc, but I feel struggles a little with action scenes. Not enough oomph!

Good issue, and one that promises a big payoff next month if I’ve followed the clues correctly. Now, anyone want to start a band?

**** 4/5

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