Doctor Who is returning to TV soon with Peter Capaldi playing the iconic character. However over in the comics David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor has just been granted a brand new series from Titan Comics. Written by Nick Abadiz and illustrated by Elena Casagrande, the comic is partly a continuation and partly an all new jumping on point. Sound confusing? Maybe a little, but the comic is actually pleasantly straightforward.Although the Tenth Doctor may be long gone, here it’s like he never left. Thankfully instead of pointing that out, or trying to plainly articulate out where this story is set, the issue just gets on with things. For Whovian purists there’s a quick nod that’ll let you organise where this fits in the continuity but essentially it’s irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. There are some crazy goings on and the Doctor is here to investigate, business as usual. So although this may take place a few seasons ago when it comes to the TV show, it’s actually a very easy story to drop into and enjoy.
Interestingly the Doctor doesn’t feature as prominently here as you might expect. Instead we get given a thorough introduction to Gabriella, a young intelligent woman who’s less than satisfied with the direction her life is heading in. As the issue goes on we get to meet her family, who provide a strong supporting cast. The writing is maybe a tiny bit archetypical at times but remains entertaining and creates a diverse bunch of characters. It’s also refreshing to see a Mexican family in the spotlight and a story set in New York, as the Doctor Who source material usually leans heavily on England and London especially.
The artwork is generally very strong. Scenery and backgrounds are meticulously detailed with perfect framing, while Arianna Florean leads the colour work and gives everything a bright and lively look. Unfortunately there are a couple of occasional bumps on the visual side, although David Tennant’s Doctor sounds dead-on his appearance shifts a little too noticeably between panels. It’s enough to stand out but not cause any serious impact to your enjoyment. Overall it’s great art though and feels like the perfect fit.
Parents wondering if this is suitable for kids can relax, mostly anyway. I got the vibe this is being aimed at a teenage audience first and foremost, while trying to duplicate the family-friendly feel. Kids should be fine here, but there are a couple of panels that might be a little too scary for any especially young ones reading.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the issue feels like watching the first episode of a brand new Doctor Who series. I mean that in the best way possible too. It’s straightforward and easy to understand with a sprinkle of new characters to keep it interesting. One thing I have to applaud is that it feels very Doctor Who-ish, which is to say they’ve nailed the tone of the series. For fans of the TV show this is a must buy, especially if you miss David Tennant’s portrayal. It’s exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re not familiar with the original then it’s still easy enough to jump in. If you’ve heard of the show but never checked it out, this comic is a perfectly reasonable place to start.