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Comic Book Review
In the trenches of World War One, soldiers fear the sound of Angels’ wings… The Doctor and Gabby are trapped in a field hospital in No Man’s Land, where trench foot is the least of their worries. With the TARDIS lost and the sonic screwdriver in the hands of the military, the Doctor and Gabby must now convince the sceptical Captain Fairbairn that they are not spies – or face a firing squad! Their only allies are a handful of experienced soldiers, the friendly-but-exhausted Corporal Jamie Colquhoun, and beds full of the walking wounded. As the siege stretches on and watchful eyes grow weary, who will be the first to blink…?
There’s lots of great art from Daniel Indro in the second episode of this Weeping Angels adventure, which opens with a spectacular storm-lashed train sequence. Elsewhere there is smoke, debris, gloomy skies and anguished faces. Gabby looks very beautiful indeed, though rather different from the woman created by this comic’s previous artist, Elena Casagrande – more curvaceous and with a button nose.
When the Doctor is described as her “boyfriend”, Gabby profusely denies being in any way attracted to the Time Lord, though this might have something to do with her taking a shine to Jamie! To clarify, that’s the soldier, Jamie Colquhoun, not the former travelling companion Jamie McCrimmon, who is mentioned by the Doctor on one page: “Another Scot. Bit of a rebel. Brave as they come.”
The visualisation of the Weeping Angels comes across better than it did last time, with their unobserved movements conveyed frame by frame, with less of the detritus effect that was added to them in the previous issue. Writer Robbie Morrison has the Doctor spend the better part of a couple of pages explaining their nature, for the benefit of the other characters in the story and any readers who still don’t get it.
However, the premise of the Angels seems to have changed a bit since the television episode Blink. In that story, the creatures’ victims tended to live full lives in the past, whereas here they face imminent death. In Blink, the Angels fed on energy released by time paradoxes resulting from the years which their victims would have lived in the present. Here the Angels are preying on people who were probably doomed to die anyway. As the Doctor puts it, the battlefields of the First World War are “Where 20,000 soldiers can be killed in a day… Where one and a half million men can die in a battle that gains six miles of bomb-blasted wasteland and little else… Where for four years, four months and four days, millions of people – men, women and children – lost their lives, many of the bodies never found”. What temporal paradox is there to be harvested from the removal of those people? No wonder the Angels are starving! Mind you, Steven Moffat himself is not averse to changing the nature of his creations, so you could argue that Morrison’s work fits right in!
Despite me picking up on the paradoxes, this is a very well presented issue, full of excitement. Don’t blink and miss it!