Back in January, Titan Comics announced that they would be partnering with BBC Worldwide to release brand new comic books featuring the 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctors from the seminal sci-fi series ‘Doctor Who’. While the adventures of the latest regeneration are still being kept under wraps, the first issues of both ‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor’ and ‘Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor’ hit shelves this week just in time for San Diego Comic Con.
Previously, I decided to check out some ‘Doctor Who’ comics when IDW was handling them, but I wasn’t a huge fan of that run. However, since Titan was bringing back my favorite Doctor (David Tennant), I couldn’t resist checking it out. Now, I’m pretty thankful that I did because I’m a big fan of it.
‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor’ takes place after ‘The Stolen Earth’ and ‘Journey’s End’ when the Doctor is forced to leave Donna Noble so as to not have her “burn up” if she suddenly remembers who he is, but before his final days in this regeneration in ‘The End of Time’. During that time, we saw the Time Lord took on a number of one-time companions like Jackson Lake, Lady Christina de Souza, and Donna’s grandfather Wilfred Mott in a series of specials that tied the fourth series to the fifth one starring Matt Smith. Now, thanks to writer Nick Abadzis and artist Elena Casagrande, we can add Gabriella Gonzalez from New York City to that list.
In this issue, we’re introduced to Gabriella as she works hard to please her family while putting her own dreams on hold. While she assists in running the family laundromat, she also puts in time at their restaurant when she’s not attending accounting classes at night school at the insistence of her father instead of enrolling in art school. But one day when strange things start happening and people start seeing monsters, a familiar set of Chuck Taylors step out of a blue police box once again to investigate.
For starters, unlike the last ‘Doctor Who’ comic I read, I found that the writer really captured the personality and the feel of the Doctor and a ‘Doctor Who’ episode. While I was reading, I was reminded of the first appearance of the Weeping Angels in ‘Blink’ because we spent a lot of time with Sally Sparrow rather than the Doctor in that episode. We get that here too with Gabriella, which was good because it gave us the opportunity to get to know her and gain an attachment to her. Then, similar to the first time that Rose Tyler met the Doctor, he shows up right in the nick of time when his new companion needs his help the most. Abadzis just absolutely nailed so many things down and managed to do my Doctor justice.
Another thing that I liked about this issue (and this series as a whole so far) is that we get to see Ten in America. Eleven spent a good bit of time there, but his previous regeneration didn’t get the opportunity, so it’s nice to see that happen now. And even though I’m pretty tired of most comics going directly to New York City when things are set in America (because there are other awesome cities on the east coast too :cough:Philadelphia:cough:), it does offer the opportunity to introduce a diverse cast including a Hispanic companion. If you’ve read any of my previous ‘Doctor Who’ coverage, you know that I’ve been campaigning for an Asian companion, but I can’t really say that I’m disappointed with Gabriella because I like her already. Diversity is good no matter how we get, right? Anyway, her story of immigrant parents dictating how she should live her life resonates with a lot of people out there and for those who aren’t familiar with the situation, we get a very good representation of it here. And on top of all that, we’re reunited with David Tennant’s Doctor again, so we’re winning all over the place!
Basically, I’d say that ‘Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor’ #1 succeeds as a first issue with flying colors. Not only was it an enjoyable comic, but it’s also a welcome addition to the Tenth Doctor’s story and the overall ‘Doctor Who’ mythology. I greatly look forward to the next issue.
DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #1
Written by Nick Abadzis
Art by Elena Casagrande, Michele Pasta, Arianna Florean, Claudia SG, Fabiola Ienne, Valentina Cuomo, & Azzurria Florean
ver by Alice X. Zhang