In Review: The Tenth Doctor Year Three #11

The action is exciting, the characters engaging, and the visuals stellar.

The covers: Three covers to collect for his final tale of the tenth Doctor’s third year adventures. The A cover features art by Simon Myers & Rachael Smith. This has the Doctor holding up a large drawing of Donna Noble, I think. Why the Doctor would be holding up this illustration is beyond me. The Doctor looks okay, but the reader’s eye is drawn more to the female illustration he’s holding up. The B by Will Brooks is another masterful combination of images from one of the Doctor’s adventures, this time from “The Fires of Pompeii.” David Tennant and Catherine Tate grace this cover, surrounded by other actors from the episode, including Karen Gillan and Peter Capaldi, who would have considerably larger roles in future episodes. This is my favorite cover. The C is a quiet piece by David Carr showing the Doctor returning to the TARDIS after making a snow angel. It’s cute, but the snow angel isn’t well defined enough and the character is too distant from the reader. Plus, the Doctor looks really cheesed off. A change in the point of view would have improved this frontpiece. Overall grades: A C, B A+, and C C

The story: Night in present day New York City. On one of the city’s many piers, Cleo Hunsicker is being shot at. She throws a rock to distract the shooter, while she runs. Now able to sneak behind her foe, she gets behind him with her gun, forcing him to drop his weapon. He tells her she has no idea what she’s getting into. She responds, “Sure I do. If you’re wondering how I found you…Your shimmer is leaking. You need a new cloaking device.” Cleo deactivates his cloak, revealing him to be a Groske mercenary, and he’s instantly vaporized by an unseen killer. She escapes his fate by using her own shimmer. Returning home, she scans the device the mercenary had and is shocked at what she sees. She grabs her phone and dials the Doctor, pleading for him to pick up. This exciting opening by Nick Abadzis is left for eleven pages, focusing on the Doctor, Gabby Gonzalez, and Cindy Wu on Ouloumos, Zhe’s private moon, where Gabby is trying to be trained in the use of her newly acquired powers. The Doctor’s work on an object requires he and Cindy go somewhere where they encounter a familiar sounding vehicle. Noobis gets a page to remind the reader of his existence, before returning to the Doctor and Cindy who get Cleo’s call. This is when the book goes amped up: the device that Cleo has is revealed and something bad happens to Gabby. Abadzis is setting up the conclusion of this series, so he has to put all the players in place and that’s what a majority of this issue is. It’s entertaining, but doesn’t become exciting until the final six pages. I trust Abadzis’s writing, so I’ll be on board to see how this story finishes. Overall grade: B

The art: Giorgia Sposito’s visuals are perfect for the elegance of Ouloumos. It’s beautiful architecture and green vistas look inviting and realistic, making this alien location believable. She also does a good job with gritty New York, with the opening scenes of Cleo’s cat and mouse with the mercenary exciting, such as on Page 2, and shocking with his death on 3. I especially like her quarters that are revealed on the fifth page that have some futuristic tech, but not so much that it overwhelms the space or the reader. As good as these settings are, it’s the characters where Sposito truly shines. The pair of close-ups on the cloaked mercenary look great, and when his true form is shown he looks just as good. Cleo’s reactions starting in the third panel of Page 5 tell the reader exactly how perilous her situation is and why the Doctor is needed. The title character has got his puzzle-solving face on for most of the book, because that’s where the story takes him, but when he has an emotional outburst, such as on 9, he looks terrific. The strong emotions of this issue are to found in Gabby, while she’s dealing with her powers and what happens in the book’s conclusion, and Cindy, who continues to be a deliriously delicious character, whose happiness is infectious. Sposito is making this book a treat to look upon. Overall grade: A 

The colors: The visuals on the book are greatly increased due to the coloring by Adele Matera. The opening in New York is dark, but has enough bright colors to keep the visuals clear; I particularly like the coloring on the shooter at the bottom of Page 2. The technology throughout the book looks beautiful with its colors, beginning with the deactivation of the merc’s shimmer. The coloring in the third panel on 5 ups the intensity of the character considerably. Ouloumos is idyllic with its blues and greens. Evening on the world is equally lovely, as demonstrated by the final two pages of the issue. Overall grade: A

The letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt are responsible for the book’s text which includes scene settings, sounds, a whisper, dialogue, screams, Noobis and his people’s speech, and the tease for next issue. The scene settings are different from others I’ve encountered in comics, being a font unique to Doctor Who. The sounds are exciting and visually look like the noises that they denote. And it may seem inappropriate, but the scream at the end of the third page is fantastic. Overall grade: A 

The final line: Companion Gabby Gonzalez is the focus as this year draws to a close. The action is exciting, the characters engaging, and the visuals stellar. Every Who fan should grab a copy while they can! Overall grade: A-

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Doctor-Who-The-Tenth-Doctor-3-11/digital-comic/565210?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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