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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Tenth Doctor #2


Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colourist: Arianna Florean
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: US $3.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 27 August 2014

All Gabriella Gonzalez wanted was to skip her shift at the laundromat and hang out with her friends as Sunset Park hosts its first-ever Day of the Dead festival! But her father wouldn’t listen – again – and now she is stuck with a store full of empty machines while the rest of the neighbourhood goes wild. On the longest night of her life, Gabby is trapped in a powerless subway car, and the only thing standing between her and horrific death-by-monster is some skinny white guy in a suit – who’s waving a blue flashlight around and talking about an infestation of psychic aliens! If Gabby survives this, she’s going to kill him…!

Having finally met Gabby at the end of the previous issue, the Tenth Doctor plays a far more prominent role in this issue, as he and his new acquaintance are thrown together by one perilous situation after another.

The Time Lord provides some explanations for the strange events that have been occurring in the run-up to Halloween in Sunset Park, in a typically verbose yet casual manner, which is well captured by writer Nick Abadzis. He explains, for instance, that: “Earth doesn’t just exist in spatial or temporal dimensions, y’know. Every planet with life and an atmosphere has a psychosphere, too. Earth is covered in psychic fault lines, all held in a mild telepathic field… It’s like a huge cauldron, a big ol’ soup of thoughtstuff and supersensory activity just outside the range of human perception.”

Yes, that’s right – this story involves creatures that feed on emotions, which is also a recurring theme of Titan’s Eleventh Doctor series. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence (rather than a lack of ideas), but it’s an unfortunate one.

To be honest, at this point in the series I am enjoying the Eleventh Doctor comic more. Maybe this is because I prefer Matt Smith’s Doctor over David Tennant’s (though in truth I love them all). Maybe it’s because the Tenth Doctor series has not yet tackled creatures, locations and effects that I feel the television series really could not. The benign, ethereal Pranavores that we encounter in this issue are impressive, but rather similar to the Arcateenians from the Torchwood episode Greeks Bearing Gifts and the Sarah Jane adventure Invasion of the Bane. The deadly Cerebravores and their transformational powers are a somewhat different proposition, though…

All of which builds to an exciting cliffhanger, which suggests that the Tenth Doctor series will soon achieve the required critical mass.


Richard McGinlay

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