By Nick Abadzis, Valeria Favoccia, Giorgia Sposito, Hi-Fi & Arianna Florean
One welcomed approach that Titan has decided on is to make their various Doctor Who comics into seasons like the show itself. Each time a new season comes around there’s a chance for a lapsed reader to jump on board or someone looking to read more Doctor Who when there isn’t anything on TV and won’t be for a while. The fact that there’s series focused on multiple Doctors helps a lot when it comes to fans of the show as well, who can pick up a book that features their preferred Doctor and jump right in.
The first issue of Year Three introduces us to a brand-new arc entitled “Breakfast at Tyranny’s” and sees The Tenth Doctor suffering from amnesia and going by the name of “Smithy”. He doesn’t remember who he is and he’s trapped on the run in a city block from terrifying monsters known as Wraith Hounds. His only help is a fellow homeless person, who warns him to stay away from a Department Store. So it’s business as usual for The Doctor. However, his companions, Gabby Gonzalez and Cindy Wu, are also in trouble of their own while separated from The Doctor. The mystery is brought to life fantastically with a great, solid script from Nick Abadzis that builds the tension over the course of the issue, balancing the pace effectively and building to an interesting cliffhanger that will no doubt have readers coming back for more.
The artwork is effective with the Brooklyn underworld that The Doctor finds himself in fleshed out incredibly well by the creative team which benefits from Valeria Favoccia and Giorgia Sposito on line art and Hi-Fi & Arianna Florean on colours. There’s a clear contrast to the two storylines as The Doctor’s takes place in a largely dystopian darkness, whilst Gabby’s is more bright and colorful. The action sequences are also vibrant and full of energy with some great character designs on top of that that really help bring the characters to life. The Tenth Doctor’s character also gains an addition in the form of new facial hair to match his new surroundings, and it’s interesting to see what little changes the artists make to the character that really work in the comics’ favour. Whilst it’s still a bit odd to have a companion who’s not from England in the case of Gabby (at least for a reader who’s not a regular reader of the comics) it does highlight the potential of the comic. The creative team doesn’t have the budget constraints that the show has and it really shows.
The Wraith Hounds are unfortunately fairly generic and underdeveloped villains, but then with the main focus on the protagonists that is always to be expected. Thankfully, the cliffhanger of the issue was an interesting one that presented great potential for the second part of the storyline and it’s great to see the return of a classic monster that fans of the original series will no doubt appreciate a lot. There’s plenty of staying power to make you continue reading this book beyond just the first issue, especially if you’re a big fan of Doctor Who.
The Tenth Doctor: Year Three #1 provides a mostly excellent introduction for fans looking to jump on board Titan Comics’ ongoing series, with a few threads carried on from the previous arc that is explained in a way to get the audiences up to date on what is happening fairly quickly. The creative team brings their A-game to the table to ensure that this book remains a delightfully fun read, and comes highly recommended. If you’re a Doctor Who fan looking to read more stories in the same universe while the show is off air, then this is an excellent place to start.