Monday, 23 January 2017

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 - Titan Comics

With its incredibly well-written introduction to ‘new companion’ Gabriella Gonzalez and the young woman’s “dead-end job in her family’s New York Laundromat”, it's arguably a pity that Nick Abadzis’s narrative for Issue One of “Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor” wasn't around to follow the BBC science fiction programme’s episode “Journey’s End” as a televised adventure in July 2008. Indeed, the consistent clash between the rebellious Gabby’s dream of “bigger, better and brighter things” and the somewhat subservient ethics of her immigrant parents, genuinely creates a character who surely would have been a joy to watch on the ‘small screen’; “I’ve an invested interest in making that place work too, y’know. It’s as much of an investment for me as it is for any other member of this family.”

Sadly, such a painstakingly well documented background to the Timelord’s assistant, resplendent with repeated family arguments amongst numerous opposing relatives, doesn’t however make for the most entertaining of reads; even if this twenty-two page periodical was advertised by “Titan Comics” as only being the first of a “five-issue arc with the Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant!”. In fact, by the time Gonzalez has had a second fight with her sister’s fiancée over her needing to show Hector more respect, the persistent bickering and whining must have already proved too much for many of this book’s 39,707 readers. Little wonder perhaps then that the sales figures for the title’s follow-up edition dramatically fell to just 10,410 copies?

Equally as disappointing as the plot’s lack-lustre pacing, is the Eisner Award-winner’s handling of the titular character, and the fact that, apart from a brief scene where he supposedly cures a six month old baby from a hideous case of festering boils and “expanding periphery”, the Gallifreyan barely makes his presence known throughout the entire magazine. True, the “alien who walks like a man” does sporadically crop up within a panel every now and then to spout some ‘timey wimey’ nonsense. But in general, the series’ lead protagonist is no-where to be found until the comic’s cliff-hanger conclusion when he appears to rescue Gabby from some shape-shifting underground tube train demon.

Quite possibly the biggest failing of “Revolutions Of Terror” though, is the book’s uninspiring breakdowns by Elena Casagrande. Supposedly a “fan favourite” artist for her work on “Angel” and “Star Trek”, the Italian seemingly crams each and every page with as many pictures as her pencil can muster, and resultantly makes each scene a real headache for the eye to navigate.
The regular cover art of "DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR" No. 1 by Alice X. Zhang

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