Book Review – Tenth Doctor Vol. 4 – The Endless Song

The fourth volume in Titan Comics collection of their Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) collection of Doctor Who comics starts the second year of the series. This collection includes two stories. In the first, the Doctor and Gabby arrive at one of the most beautiful planets in the universe, where the native intelligent species, the local animals, and the human colonists live in harmony. However, soon after the Doctor and Gabby arrive they discover something is wrong – the Santee – living music – are dying from a mysterious illness, and without them the Bovodrines the lungs of the world will die, and without oxygen the humans will also die. The Doctor and Gabby work with a female scientist who has been studying the Santee until she’s injured to discover the source of the outbreak and reverse the effects.
In the second story, Gabby and the Doctor land on pre-historic Earth, where they help a Neanderthal shaman fight off alien slavers who are taking the various clans that live there.
In between we have Gabby’s sketchbook, notes, and letters sent in a book to her friend Cindy.
The Endless Song has beautiful art, and both stories are very good. I liked how the Shaman in the second story was written, with his own form of intelligence and his local knowledge. And the first story was a very unique Science Fiction story and well told. This is another excellent volume in Titan Comics Doctor Who series. I recommend it. If you haven’t read any of the previous volumes it’s also a good place to start, as it doesn’t pick up on any previous stories but starts a new series of adventures for the Doctor and Gabby Gonzalez.

Note: I’ve read the Tenth Doctor volumes 5 and 6 but I haven’t reviewed them yet. I want to re-read them before posting. But once I read and review both volumes they will be cross-posted here from GoodReads.

Book Review – Doctor Who Tenth Doctor vol. 3 – The Fountains of Forever

**spoiler alert** Doctor Who The Fountains of Forever is the third volume of Titan Comics Tenth Doctor graphic novel series. I enjoyed this volume very much! The volume opens with The Doctor and Gabby walking into the TARDIS covered in mud from a recent vacation. The Doctor decides to show Gabby the TARDIS’s laundry facilities. Unfortunately, things go wrong when the TARDIS’s rather special laundry facilities bring a sentient mud creature into the TARDIS.
The second story, which fills the rest of this volume, has the Doctor trying to recapture some alien tech from a specialized auction. The tech however, falls into the hands of a old-time Hollywood actress. But in an unexpected twist – she doesn’t want the tech to become young again, but to live long enough to see the hospital wing she’s donated her money and time to completed, as she’s dying. However, that isn’t all – the tech everyone is after comes from the Osirians (from the Classic Who story Pyramids of Mars). This surprising introduction of a Classic alien society makes for a great story, and I enjoyed it very much. This story is highly recommended.
The only negative about this particular graphic novel is that I thought the art wasn’t very good, especially of Gabby’s friend, Cindy Wu. Yet even the Doctor did not look like the Doctor in some panels. That was a bit sad, as the art in the Titan Comics Graphic novels to date has been extremely good.
Still, the story was excellent and I enjoyed it! Recommended.

Book Review – Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor Vol. 2 – The Weeping Angels of Mons

The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Gabby Gonzalez’s adventures continue in this second volume in the Doctor Who graphic novels from Titan Comics. I thought this book was even better than volume one. The artwork is excellent. The Doctor takes Gabby on his promised trip to the past – but they arrive in the middle of a World War I battlefield. A battlefield that’s under attack by Weeping Angels. First, the Angels appear singly but soon there are hordes of Angels attacking the British troops, and the German troops occupying the nearby town have all ready disappeared.
The flashbacks of the English soldiers who are sent back in time are incredibly well-thought out, as well as well-drawn. The Doctor figures out that the Angels are desperate because they are trying to feed on the future timelines of the Lost Generation – who have no future.
As the Weeping Angels try to approach the British Trenches the Doctor and Gabby help fight them off. Finally, the Doctor is able to reach his missing TARDIS, and trap the Angels underground.
He then brings Gabby home, and says goodbye to her. But, Gabby is not safe in New York as she (and all of New York) is soon attacked by Galactic Hunters who hunt with noise weapons.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel and I recommend it.

Book Review – Doctor Who Tenth Doctor vol. 1 – Revolutions of Terror

Revolutions in Terror collects the first five issues of Titan Comics Tenth Doctor range. The Doctor (David Tennant) meets a new companion, Gabriella Gonzalez (Gabby), a Hispanic-American from New York City. Gabby works in her family’s restaurant and also their laundromat, while studying accounting in night school. (Note to the editors – in the US it’s “accounting” not “accountancy”, and one must *pass* the CPA Exam before one is a certified public accountant. However, you can work as an accounting assistant without passing the exam.) Anyway, Gabby is tired of working for her family, and would rather go to graphic design school or art school and become an artist. Aliens attack the laundromat and soon the Doctor arrives to help. The alien invasion is connected to the Day of the Dead celebration – but the happiness and singing of those gathered to celebrate beats off the invaders.
The Doctor likes Gabby and takes her on “one trip” in the TARDIS to a futuristic art gallery. They end-up in danger, but it’s Gabby who rescues the artist captured by her own creation so to speak. The Doctor agrees to give Gabby a trip to the past too.
I enjoyed this graphic novel. The art is brilliant and the colors pop. I liked the idea of including Gabby’s sketchbook/diary as her comment on life in the TARDIS but I found the lettering very difficult to read. Cursive is not your friend, especially when it’s that small – and on a dark background.
The story felt, well, like they were trying to get their feet under themselves… feeling their way a bit… not polished. But it was enough to keep me interested in buying more of the graphics in the Doctor Who series. And I really enjoyed seeing a David Tennant original story.

Doctor Who Four Doctors Event (Titan Comics) Review

The Four Doctors Event is a five-issue comic mini series written by Paul Cornell and published by Titan Comics. I know I first heard about this series from social media, I think on Twitter. Anyway, I was very excited about it because I really like Paul Cornell’s writing (Cornell writes the Shadow Police urban fantasy series, see reviews on my GoodReads page) – and I thought it was great to see him back to writing Doctor Who. Titan Comics is a new publisher for Doctor Who Comics and they definitely get Doctor Who. I’ve now read several of their graphic novels (collections of the soft cover series) and the art is always excellent, and the stories very much in the tone of New Who. Again, see my GoodReads page for specific reviews of the various titles I’ve read so far.

The art in the Four Doctors Event is excellent. The panels have a painted almost watercolor look, and the edges of figures are sharp and crisp. I like my comics art to be realistic and the panel order to be clear – and that’s precisely what the Titan Comics give me, including this series. But it’s also gorgeous and I really like the painted look.

Doctor Who has had multiple-Doctor stories before in both the Classic and New aired series, namely “The Three Doctors”, “The Five Doctors”, “The Two Doctors”, and the 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor”. These stories have been hit or miss – I loved “The Day of the Doctor”, and I enjoyed “The Three Doctors” but I felt the plot of “The Five Doctors” was more a series of cameo appearances than a good story and “The Two Doctors” was just too long and slow-moving. But the Four Doctors Event has a great story that takes advantage of several versions of the Doctor (the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and briefly the War Doctor). There were several surprises in the story that I don’t want to spoil, so I won’t – but it is a good story and well-written.

The only disappointment I had was that The War Doctor (John Hurt’s character in “The Day of the Doctor”) only appears at the very beginning. I kept expecting him to return, but he didn’t. The Ninth Doctor also isn’t in the story, except a very brief cameo at the end – but the explanation for his absence is brilliant! Overall, this story was excellent and had the same feel as “The Day of the Doctor” without being quite so bonkers at times (No “little girl” Elizabeth the First this time around) but it also wasn’t as grim as some stories I’ve read by Cornell. Not that there’s anything wrong with grim, I like grim – at times; but this mini-series had just the right New Who attitude, so I enjoyed it very much.

I normally never buy things twice, but I plan to purchase the Graphic Novel version of this story when it becomes available in January 2016. This comics mini-series (and no doubt the graphic novel) is highly recommended.