Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colourists: Arianna Florean and Azzurra Florean
Release Date: 10th February 2016
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been absolutely buzzing to read this book. I’ve been praying all weekend that our Titan delivery would come early! My excitement has been rewarded with a particularly cool cover of ten, courtesy of Alice X. Zhang. She’s gone for a painted style and the likeness to David Tennant is incredible. Definitely look out for it; it’s pretty enough to warrant a hard copy purchase, even for me!
Once you’ve managed to make it past the cover (give yourself at least five minutes), you’ll remember that we last left the Doctor, Gabby and Munmeth as they were being sucked up by the Monaxi’s ‘temporal tornado’ to an undisclosed, but likely unpleasant, location. We’ll have to wait a tad longer to find out the conclusion to that particular cliffhanger, as we move back to events with Cindy, Cleo, Jack and Erik. Between our last sighting of them at the end of #2.3 and now, the group have somehow had their memories wiped and been transported to another planet where humans and aliens alike battle to the death. Sound familiar?
It feels like Abadzis has kicked the gears down a few notches for #2.6. There’s some serious exposition dumping occurring, which really slows the pace of the book. Answers are provided, but I feel the evil mastermind behind this particular plot twist is a little one-dimensional in comparison to those that have come before him. As a consequence, the book isn’t as entertaining as similar information-heavy books in the series have been in the past.
This is partially abated by the use of Cindy’s commentary throughout the book. She’s a character that could so easily have been generic to fit the ‘best friend’ role, but in Abadzis’ hands, has proved highly amusing. The book also features characters you’ll recognise from earlier in the series that have been moved to centre stage and subjected to the ‘Abadzis treatment’, providing some funny exchanges between the main and secondary casts.
The only character that I feel didn’t receive his fair share of the limelight was Jack. This book is the first in the series to feature him in full, but his contribution feels purely functional. I don’t feel his presence added much to the book, which is surprising considering the depth to his character. It’s perhaps fair to say that Abadzis had enough going on in this issue and that unleashing Jack may have required a complete overrun of the plot. I hope he plans to do so at some point in the future though; wouldn’t it be fun?
As for the artwork, I’m divided. On the one hand, Carlini uses sharp lines that I find to be to the detriment of the characters and the overall look of the book. On the other, her action panels are slick and inventive, even if they are a little hard to follow at times. I can’t be the only one that giggled at the man who is clearly lying injured in the middle of a battlefield, but at first glance appears to be hanging upside down in mid-air amidst the fighters?
I need to mention the colouring as well, as the the Floreans’ have once again done a really great job. I like their consistency in shading between the various books for certain characters; it really sets the tone for different arcs of the plot.
Overall, this book is a solid entry in the series and definitely one that you’ll need to pick up if you want to continue on. Just don’t expect the ‘Who’ masterclass delivered in the last book to be repeated.
The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider