Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande, Arianna Florean (Colours)
Release Date: July 13th, 2016
The twelfth book in the second year of the Tenth Doctor series throws us straight back into the thick of the action. The nocturne continues its manifestation, as the Doctor and his companions frantically attempt to thwart its growth. In true ‘Who’ fashion, the solution appears to be discordant music, which is applied with varying success throughout the book.
This has been an odd little plot arc within the overall series. As you’ll remember, Abadzis deployed a nocturne storyline earlier in Year 2 with great success, but doesn’t seem to achieve the same high notes this time around (if you’ll pardon the pun). Admittedly this particular arc has only spanned two books, but the story feels rushed rather than self-contained and unlike with prior side characters like Munmeth, I don’t feel invested enough in the inhabitants of the jazz club to truly care what happens to them. Even having one of the possessed musicians as a love interest of Cindy’s unfortunately fails to endear him to the masses.
The series takes a dark turn in this particular book. Based on the events of the last few books, objectively I understand how the characters have arrived at that place and why they react the way that they do. However as a reader, I don’t feel it and that’s important. I’m not taken to that place with the characters and out the other side. As a result, the dramatic events of the book fall flat.
The saving grace of the book is the artwork and the colouring. From the reddish hues in the nocturne panels, to the purplish pastels used for Gabby’s interactions with the Doctor, the book is gorgeous to look at. However unfortunately I would also argue that the colouring isn’t tonally in-step with what is a rather dark storyline in terms of character development.
It’s likely that the aftermath of the events of this book will spill into the books that follow. From that perspective, I would still tell followers of the series to pick this one up. For me, this is a misstep in an otherwise fantastic series with an impressive team at the helm. I don’t doubt for a second that they’ll turn this around asap.
The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider