Writer - Al Ewing
Artist - Boo Cook
Editor - Andrew James
Designer - Rob Farmer
Colorist - Hi-fi
Letterer - Richard Starkings + Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Humor Strip - Marc Ellerby
Editor - Andrew James
Assistant Editor - Kirsten Murray
Released - April 15th 2015
It would seem that SERVEYOUinc have now been conclusively defeated, but as it turns out the consequences of the TARDIS crew's resistance to the corporate entity are still playing out.
This particular version of the Doctor has his hands full with temporal paradoxes more than most of his forebears and his companions likewise are no strangers to a bit of confusing chronology. The mystery of ARC begins to be less opaque as the Doctor surmises that his unusual companion is actually the mental component of the Entity being that SERVEYOUinc were exploiting to their own ends.
With ARC's help the Doctor travels to the time and place it was captured, but then must stop the creature from altering its own history. New complications come to the fore as the long-suffering TARDIS begins to fracture once again. Furthermore the three companions are confronted by a being that presents itself with some kind of personal connection to the travellers which masks the malicious entity within . But the Doctor himself is trapped in the astral plane and seemingly unable to help anyone. Meanwhile the disturbing capture of the Entity unfolds on a small moon, with one of the SERVEYOUinc party having a rather familiar face.
Following a similar vein to the previous story, the Doctor's companions get to have more direct impact on unfolding events than he himself does. The difference this time though is that the Doctor is in a position of complete safety, observing the important events that played a role in the appearance(s) of the Talent Scout over time periods. The others in the TARDIS crew must show their resolution, survival instinct and plain smarts in order to overcome the rather arrogant menace facing them, and as should be expected by now they all are up to it.
Once again with art by Boo Cook, and a story by series regular Al Ewing, there is a feeling of the creative team being confident and sure of what they are going to achieve with this adventure. The words/visuals are indeed so harmonious a match that there is virtually nothing to criticise this time round. I personally liked the deliberate panelling to show the separation of the four heroes and the 'pastels look' was a good innovation for the series .
This story almost could have been told after the fact in a conversation but is presented engagingly and never drags. Thus ultimately having a coda/prequel type of story after the cataclysms of issues nine and ten was a smart move by the creative team. It is also very pleasing to finally have a story where ARC is key to events and gets some further development after verging on being the 'Zeppo Marx' of the TARDIS quartet during most of his appearances.
Bonus Humour Strip:
Time Gentlemen Please by Marc Ellerby sees a first for this writer/artist in being granted two pages to tell his story. The quality remains high from Ellerby, and he uses the extra length to tell a galaxy-trotting pub crawl involving the Doctor, Rory and comical Sontaran Strax.