New Adventures With The Tenth Doctor#12- Fountains of Forever Part 2Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 December 2015 - Reviewed by Dan Collins
THE TENTH DOCTOR VOL. 3 (Credit: Titan)
The Fountains of Forever

Written by Nick Abadzis
Artwork by Elena Casagrande, Eleonora Carlini,
Rachael Stott and Leonardo Romero
Published by Titan Comics
Gabby and her BFF try to hash out their differences, though Cindy still thinks her friend might be losing touch with reality. Cleo betrays the Doctor and blasts him with the device but instead of getting younger, John Smith starts retro regenerating. Fading starlet Dorothy Bell has been searching for the alien device for years but when she gets her hands on it things don’t go as expected.
 
While reading this issue I was struck by the theme of opposites. Everywhere I look I am finding them. The most glaring example is the story as a whole compared to the previous issue. The comic before this severely underwhelmed me. Everything about it fell flat. The relationship between Gabby and Cindy was awkward and overdramatic. The Doctor and Cleo felt like they were forced toget
her. Nothing really grabbed me and I had to keep slogging through to the end. That’s where things finally started shaping up.
 
Or rather, one specific character suddenly took a different shape.
 
This issue was the exact opposite. From the very first page it’s off and running. Nick Abadzis gives us a fast and fun story that more than makes up for any previous short comings. It all starts with the Doctor's retro regeneration. The fountain of youth device doesn’t work as expected on a Time Lord and for a brief moment the 9th Doctor is the star of this 10th Doctor adventure. It lasts for just a few panels before the effects are reversed, but it was great to see nonetheless. The little touches like that are why comic books can sometimes exceed the limitations of television. There aren’t contracts and schedules to be worked out. If the story calls for the 9th Doctor for a few panels, it’s easy to make it happen.
 
Some of the characterizations that I struggled with before have even managed to turn themselves around. Cleo went from being an irritant and nuisance to a central character that has proven herself to be more than just a thug. Though working with Erik Ulfricksson, who appears to be one of the bad guys, she isn’t his mindless servant and in fact stands up to him. There are some intriguing things going on with the pair that we aren’t privy to yet.
 
Still on the theme of opposites, there is an enjoyable dichotomy between Cleo and Dorothy. The mercenary seems to have had a hard life. When faced with it, she isn’t interested in the fountain of youth, stealing the device was just a job. After being hit by energy feedback from the artifact, the scaring on her face is healed. Instead of being happy, she is very upset. Cleo had been using the disfigurement as a constant reminder about not trusting the wrong people. Dorothy Bell on the other hand has everything anyone could ever want in life. Fame, fortune, adoration, awards. She has beensearching for the device for years hoping it will slow down or perhaps turn back the clock on her aging and increasingly fragile body. The same energy feedback that healed Cleo left
Dorothy in a coma like state.
 
And from deep within my dreamless slumber, a sleep like death, I heard your voice. You called to me.
 
As with all good Doctor Who stories there is more going on than we first suspect. This isn’t just a story about a stolen artifact. What about the aliens that made it? We will find out more about them next issue.
 

Bonus Strip- A Rose By Any Other Name by Rachael Smith

 
I will admit here that I am not really a fan of these bonus strips. The entire premise of them is that the Doctor is heartbroken over leaving Rose so he adopts a cat named Rose and then apparently hilarity ensues. I don’t have anything against the Doctor/Rose relationship, but these cartoons take the Doctor’s feelings to beyond parody. I rarely find them funny, at best mildly amusing. Except for this one. You see,it features K-9. Who doesn’t love that robotic dog? Rose the Cat decides that a good Sunday dinner is all the Doctor needs to get over Rose the human so the three of them go shop ing. K-9 loads the cart with everything they need and then the Doctor uses the contents of the cart to explain the concept of love.
 
This one was actually really enjoyable.