Comic Review: DOCTOR WHO – THE TENTH DOCTOR #1

DOCTOR-WHO-THE-TENTH-DOCTOR-1
DOCTOR WHO – THE TENTH DOCTOR #1/ Written by NICK ABADZIS/ Art by ELENA CASAGRANDE/ Colors by ARIANNA FLOREAN/ Letters by RICHARD STARKINGS & COMICRAFT’S JIMMY BETANCOURT/ Published by TITAN COMICS

Gabriella “Gabby” Gonzales is uncertain what she wants out of life.  The only thing Gabby is truly sure of is that she wants more than her traditionalist father will ever allow her to have.  A straight-A student throughout high-school, Gabby’s dad only acknowledged her intelligence in so far as it would benefit his businesses.  Gabby dreams of college or art school but the only further schooling her father will allow is night-school accountancy classes, so she can manage his books for him.  Even her worthless brother-in-law-to-be, Hector is accorded more respect than she is!  Gabby is desperate for something – anything – that will free her from the drudgery of her life.

After the loss of his best-friend Donna Noble and the departure of all of his other allies, The Doctor thought it unlikely he would ever take another companion with him on his journeys through the whole of space and time.  But the Universe still needs a doctor to fix what is wrong, so his journey must continue.  Alone.

A chance encounter will bring both The Doctor and Gabby together.  A fateful day where The Devil himself walks the streets of New York City and the dead rise from their graves!  Still, The Doctor may be able to give Gabby the adventure she seeks… assuming they survive the Day of the Dead!

The most amazing thing about the premiere issues of Titan Comics’ new Doctor Who comics is how much care has been taken to make the series accessible to new readers – not just Whovians who have never read a comic before but comics fans who are unfamiliar with the world of Doctor Who.  Helpful blurbs on the inside cover explain the basic details of who The Doctor is, how he travels in time through a machine called the TARDIS, and how he is armed with a useful device called the Sonic Screwdriver.  Another helpful blurb establishes the setting within the continuity of the television show – sometime just after the end of Series 4, in the case of this Tenth Doctor series – for the benefit of the fans of the show wondering just when this story takes place.

dw_10_1aNick Abadzis’ story proves a welcome addition to the Whovian mythos.  The focus of the issue is largely on Gabby, with The Doctor’s appearances in the story being limited up until the exciting cliffhanger.  This proves to be to the story’s benefit, as it gives Abadzis more time to develop Gabby as a unique and sympathetic character before placing her in harms way.  Parallels may be drawn between the episodes “Rose” and “Smith and Jones,” which also focused on a female companion’s life before she joined The Doctor.  Fans of the show will likely compare this issue to those stories favorably.

Elena Casagrande’s artwork perfectly complements Abadzis’ script.  Casagrande captures David Tennant’s likeness quite well.  More, Casagrande creates a unique appearance for every character in the comic, with a variety of facial features and body types.  The inking is well balanced – neither too light or too heavy.  Some fine details are lost in the issue’s few far-shots but this is a minor complaint compared to the overall excellence of the issue’s artwork.

In the end, this comic will find many friends and few detractors.   Whovians will see this comic as a lost episode of the Tenth Doctor’s adventures.  And newcomers to the world of The Doctor will find this to be a most accommodating starting point.

Rating 5


Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 will be out next Wednesday, July 23rd from Titan Comics. Grab a copy at your local comic book store (Don’t know where that is? Here you go.) or digitally via Comixology.com.

 

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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