Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Eleonara Carlini
Colourist: Claudia SG Iannicello
Letterers: Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Onsale: September 16, 2015
Here we are with a brand new year of Tenth Doctor stories courtesy of Titan Comics. Considering that it’s a new “season” there is very little change from the previous issues. They continue on with the same companion, writer and artist. The most notable change would be the numbering. The publishing company decided to go with a snazzy new numbering scheme this time around so instead of having the first issue of this story arc continue on from where they left off, they start fresh and add a 2 in front to designate year two. So we don’t have issue #16 but rather the slightly more confusing 2.1. Titan must be hoping that their renumbering would attract new readers. Starting with a fresh number one every year has been a proven winner for industry leaders like Marvel. For new readers it may seem like an ideal new jumping on point, while older readers will continue to buy and so it creates a spike in sales numbers and revenue for the publisher.
The format of the story also lends itself to the idea that new readers may be on board for the first time. It’s one of those stories where we come into it at the very end. In this case it starts with Gabby narrating. She’s talking about the Shan’tee, beings who are literally made of music. As she speaks, the the world around her crumbles to pieces. When she cries out for the Doctor, telling him he can’t be late this time, we are then transported back to where the story started. By beginning at the end we are given a hook to catch all of those new readers who may be unfamiliar with the characters. Then it takes them away from the exciting and catastrophic events to the more tranquil beginning and starts the slow development of the story.
The planet Waputki is the perfect utopia. The Shan’tees music inspires the air-born bovodrines to feed. They are basically a jellyfish type creature except they graze like a cow. The floating air cows create the atmosphere that allows the humans to live and breathe and trade on the planet. Of course there is no such thing as utopia and something has to go wrong. A deadly virus is attacking the Shan’tee. In many cases it kills them out right, but sometimes it turns the beautiful creatures into something terrifying and sinister.
This first issue of year two gets us off to a promising start. I found it well paced and exciting. The beginning at the end worked for me. The Shan’tee are really neat creatures and their evil counterparts (the Nocturnes) are great as well.
Bonus Strip- A Rose By Any Name By Rachael Smith
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I seem to have a love/hate relationship with these strips. One month I am going on about how great it is, the next is does nothing for me. It almost seems the writer herself is feeling some malaise as this cartoon literally shows the Doctor and his Cat just going through the motions.