Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colorist: Claudia SG Ianniciello With Azzurra Florean
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Release Date: Oct 21, 2015
An auditory virus is affecting the musical Shan’Tee, turning them into nightmarish Nocturnes. The Doctor has been forced to leave Gabby to fend for herself as he attempts to trace the path of the contagion and put a stop to it. His companion has her hands full as hordes of Bovodrines, normally gentle “air cows”, are being stampeded toward the building where she’s taking shelter. The virus has also gotten inside and is beginning to turn some of her friends.
Last issue was the beginning of what they are calling the second season in these Tenth Doctor adventures. It’s a fresh storyline but with all the same familiar faces from the first year. Writer Nick Abadzis starts the arc off with just a two part story, this issue being the conclusion. I find it a little strange that they kept it tightened down to just a two parter. While the storyline is actually incredibly thin, a little more development might have made it into a more traditional three issue arc. Or alternately, if they had removed some of the padding this could easily have made it into one jam packed comic and been a dynamite standalone story.
I have to confess to being underwhelmed by the conclusion. The previous issue was pretty enjoyable. The Shan’tee were neat creatures and their infection and transformation into the malicious Nocturnes was well played. The mystery behind it was intriguing. All of that seemed to unravel for me. Maybe it was just they seemed to be going for a false sense of urgency. We started the story with the end, Gabby standing in a building under attack from the Nocturnes while everything around her is being destroyed by the Bovodrines. Will the Doctor save her? Yes. Of course he does. After all, how many times has the Doctor failed a companion and had them die? It has happened of course, but not too many times. Starting at the end was a neat creative choice, but I don’t think anyone was really worried about Gabby. The tension they were trying to create just wasn’t there for me. On top of that, the way the Doctor managed to reverse and remove the virus barely made sense. It was very anticlimactic and had none of the flair that usually comes with one of his rescues. The last page was a nice surprise though. With this adventure done, the pair return to the TARDIS and are confronted by Anubis again. He appears to remind the Doctor that they have unfinished business from the precious story arc. It was a nice touch.
Despite my criticisms of the length and the ending, I did actually enjoy the main portion of this story. It was entertaining. It just fell a little flat at the end.
Bonus Strip- A Rose By Any Other Name by Rachael Smith
I almost forgot about the strip this month as they tuck it way at the back of the digital bundle, behind pages of alternate covers and the synopsis for the next issue. I was rewarded for searching it out though. I tend to criticize these strips as being very hit or miss, some I like but many do nothing for me. Well this one is another hit. The Doctor and Rose (the human, not Rose-The-Cat) are finally reunited.