In Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #7

A perfect continuation of the Tenth Doctor's adventures that flawlessly captures the thrills, settings, and madness of this Time Lord.

The covers: Verity Glass does the artwork for the A cover which features the Time Lord proceeding through a trench from WWI, his sonic screwdriver providing his only light. He looks upset at what he’s come upon, barbed wire which constrains an unseen creature whose four fingered clawed hands reach to grasp the Doctor. Very good likeness of David Tennant on this illustration, with the coloring well done. The soft violet of the setting makes the Doctor and the creature’s hands stand out. Also really love the powder blue used for the screwdriver’s light. The B cover is a photocover and is credited to someone named AJ. This composition has the Doctor in profile at a graveyard, his head bowed in reverence before a tombstone. Behind him is a grave marked by a statue of a soldier, bearing a rifle and wings. Yellow light shines down to highlight this soldier’s final resting place. I haven’t bought a Who comic in some time and it was this cover that convinced me to pick one up, so mission accomplished, AJ! Overall grades: A A and B A+

The story: “The Weeping Angels of Mons” Part 2 by Robbie Morrison begins in excellent fashion with WWI soldiers discovering they’re on a train. They don’t know how they got there. The last thing they remember was seeing an angel staring at them and then they were on this train. They go to a passenger compartment where a man says he doesn’t recognize their uniforms, but then again they’ve been “giving the Zulus what for.” One of the men notices the date on the man’s newspaper as December 28, 1879. Something happened on that date, but they can’t remember what. Too late, one realizes that it’s the day the Tay Bridge collapsed in Dundee. Their train plunges into the waters with all aboard killed. The story then moves to the town of St. Michel, the Somme, France, 1916 where the Doctor and Gabriella Gonzalez, under the watchful eye of Jamie Colquhoun, see a soldier who’s gone mad from seeing a Weeping Angel. The three are summoned to see the Captain in charge and the Doctor presents himself in the most irresponsible and fun way possible. This was incredibly enjoyable and had me wishing I had never stopped reading this series. The dialogue is perfection. Morrison has perfectly captured the voice of Tennant’s Doctor and companion Gabby is a great original character. Jamie’s character grows in this issue as he and Gabby strike up a friendship. The explanation of the Angels and their powers were terrific, with the reader witnessing where some of the unfortunate soldiers have gone and what’s happened to them. Naturally the Angels go gunning for the Doctor and his friends and all are running to escape their deadly touch. Seeing the story during WWI is a great touch as the war compounds the Doctor’s worries. Incredibly exciting and fun. Overall grade: A+

The art: Excellent art throughout by Daniel Indro. I was really impressed with his settings. With this story taking place in WWI I expected him to take things easy and have just enough detail to suggest the time, but not go crazy with the environments. Thankfully, Indro has gone mad with details. There are incredible set pieces on Pages 6, 8, 9, 12, and 16 – 22. Lush is not a word to describe WWI, but it is completely appropriate to use that word when discussing Indro’s visuals. He brings the carnage of the Great War to life. The opening five pages’ train and its destruction are amazing. This book looks great! The characters are also well done, with the Doctor looking like Tennant to break hearts and raise spirits. Gabby is an excellently designed character and it’s so refreshing to see a normal sized girl running with the Doctor and not some svelte young thing. She’s got curves, and that makes her more real. The Angels look tremendous. They can be standing still with their eyes covered or screaming in frozen rage and they are just as terrifying as any incarnation shown on television. The final panel on the last page is perfection. All that’s missing is the classic music of the BBC signifying a cliffhanger. Outstanding! Overall grade: A+

The colors: Let’s get something straight–there’s nothing in this story that justifies bright colors. The opening five pages are set on a train in Scotland during a rainstorm, and the remainder of the book is set in destroyed France. This should be a dark book with colors for night and mud. Besides, the protagonists are dark statues. Nothing remotely insinuates color. Slamet Mujiono brilliantly illuminates the art of this book to make every hope and terror shown to the reader. The train is wonderfully lush–there’s that word again–in wood and leather. The lights from the plunging train beautifully fade into nothingness before hitting the water. Characters stand out against the debris covered settings with absolute clarity. When the Angels begin to attack the colors go crimson, exemplifying the terror they create. Sounds are also smartly colored, with the lights powering on in the end a perfect yellow. Mujiono is one to watch! Overall grade: A+

The letters: I was pleased to see Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt’s work on this book, as I’ve enjoyed their work on the Joss Whedon books at Dark Horse exceptionally well done, and they continue their winning work on this title. Terrific dialogue, sounds, a news transmission, scene setting, and several characters’ screams are easily read. The sounds are very bold, with the pair on the final page perfect for the situation–I could clearly hear them. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is the Doctor you’re looking for. A perfect continuation of the Tenth Doctor’s adventures that flawlessly captures the thrills, settings, and madness of this Time Lord. You’re missing out if you let this get by. Overall grade: A+

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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