Saturday, June 27, 2015

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #12 - A Review

The Doctor frequently told-off his companions for wandering off on their own but it seems he would have done well to follow his own advice! A quick trip to investigate a secret auction for alien artifacts led The Doctor and a mysterious woman named Cleo to the doorstep of an elderly actress named Dorthy Bell. Both of them sought the device purchased by Bell and her assistant, which was said to have the power to restore youth and health.

Now, Cleo has the device and she's used it to deage Dorothy Bell's assistant into a baby.  She tried to do the same to The Doctor, but the device has a different effect on Time Lords. While not degenerated into infancy, The Doctor has regressed into his Ninth Incarnation! And somewhere out in space, something ancient has awakened...

Nick Abadzis' script for this issue is something of a disappointment. The cliff-hanger from last issue - with The Tenth Doctor suddenly having the familiar face of Christopher Eccleston - proves sadly inconsequential and The Doctor and the assistant are both back to normal within the span of two pages. The action of the book is interesting but there's precious little introduction let alone explanation for the many events that occur.  We don't even get a name for the mysterious organization Cleo is a part of or any sense of its purpose.  Doubtlessly this will be forthcoming in a later issue but the structure of this story is all over the place.  It's not a bad read but the lack of exposition is frustrating.

Unfortunately, the artwork is similarly inconsistent.  Both artists on this book - Elena Casagrande and Elenora Carlini - are good artists and they've both done good work on this title before. But their styles aren't similar visually and their designs for some of the characters differ greatly. Cleo suffers the worst in this regard, going from model-thin to heavy-set and back depending on the page.

All in all, this is a lackluster issue of what is usually an excellent book. The work here isn't bad but it does feel rather rushed all-around.  Hopefully next month's issue will be a return to form.

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