Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Release Date: 27th January, 2016
I’ve not even made it past the front cover and I’m already fist-pumping. Elena Casagrande’s back on the scene, after an (albeit brief) departure in the last book. I will admit, however, that I actually prefer Josh Cassara’s cover to Casagrande’s. If you haven’t seen it, the Doctor’s perched atop the Tardis against an orange sky. Blow it up a bit and I’d easily feature that on my bedroom wall.
We pick up with Munmeth and the Doctor after their capture at the end of the last book. Their luck hasn’t improved. Our alien invaders have trapped them in a holographic world alongside other captives and watch through robot birds as the Neanderthals battle it out. A prehistoric ‘Hunger Games’, if you will. Meanwhile, Gabby has a confab with her own captors and learns a little of the nature of the Monaxi; i.e. the creatures behind those flying discs.
After an average start in #2.4, the plotline really takes off as the Monaxi and their operations are revealed. As always, Abadzis delivers well-rounded characters that connect with the audience, regardless of species. Simple he may be, but there’s a depth to Munmeth that makes his reunion with his daughter all the more touching. Yes, I know he’s the bad guy, but even Iktra is a joy to behold! Abadzis must have had fun writing some of the dialogue for this book. Calling the doctor a ‘clever little upstart’ is only the beginning. Iktra also trots out the phrases ‘utter imbecile’ and ‘preposterous clown’ before we reach the final panel.
Not that the dialogue is enough to distract me from some clear clues as to where we’re headed. Do the Monaxi look familiar to some of you? Do those little symbols on their discs not ring a bell? I’m intrigued, and foresee the return of our arrogant Osirian friend in the near future. I do hope Casagrande’s on-board when that moment comes; I missed the ridiculous chin-beard when his floating head last visited the Tardis!
What words can capture how I feel about Casagrande’s artwork? She has a beautiful style that, combined with Arianna and Azzurra Floreans’ colouring, is truly immersive. Her final panels are always a thing of great magnificence and this book is no exception. Plus, watch out for the moment she renders Ten as a huffy child; it’s hilarious.
The dream team is back together, with a killer premise that’ll hook you from the outset. Don’t miss this one.
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The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.