Reviewed: Titan Comics’ Tenth Doctor #2.1/2.2

It seems like only a short while ago Titan Comics launched their initial range of Doctor Who comics.

Look at them now.

The Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors all have their separate ongoing ranges. Titan goes from strength to strength.

Stating off with well deserved swagger and confidence with their second year of adventures, we’re offered the first Tenth Doctor two-part tale, The Singer Not The Song.

Arriving on the planet Wupatki, a gas giant with a habitable oxygenated atmospheric layer, the Doctor and Gabby find a world where the human colonists are living harmoniously alongside the world’s original inhabitants, something that gives the Doctor great joy. But as any reader would come to expect, the harmony won’t last for long. There’s a rather nasty virus in the air, and it’s wiping the original inhabitants out. The Doctor may be able to help but is he already too late?

Writer, Nick Abadzis kicks off year two for Titan with a rip-roaring adventure for the Tenth Doctor and Gabby. There’s mystery and intrigue with some well-crafted moments that are genuinely uncomfortable, making good use of classic science fiction tropes such as body horror as well as tense scenes for the Doctor and Gabby to get out of separately.

This TARDIS team is now extremely well attuned to one another; not since the Eighth Doctor’s era in the DWM comic strip has a character that never appeared in the parent television show been quite so well realised and fully rounded. The two travellers are friends. They have one another’s backs and best of all, you can see that old Ten is quite taken with Gabby.

The Shan’Tee, wonderful creatures made up of song, are a lovely creation. Soft and gentle as well as peaceful to the end, their transformation is made all the more sinister due to the musical virus cascading across their world. Luckily the Doctor is on hand to manifest a cure in the simplest way possible (no spoilers). It’s an ingenious plot: the virus itself is a brilliant notion, and the solution is smart and satisfying.

With a punchy first story and some truly gorgeous art from Eleonora Carlini, coupled with rich, thick colours from Claudia Sg Ianniciello and Azzurra Florean – not to mention the frankly stunning covers by Alex Ronald – The Singer Not The Song is a fun and exciting start to the second season of Tenth Doctor Titan stories; with layers being produced for future story arcs, things are off to a great start.

The Tenth Doctor #2.1 and #2.2 are available now, while the graphic novel, The Endless Song, comes out later this month and can be pre-ordered below.