THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) is back in the TARDIS for more of his comic adventures in a new Titan adventure. Written by Nick Abadzis with the artistry skills of Giorgia Sposito and Arianna Florean.
In the previous issue, Cindy had been captured and whisked away to a new destination in the Time Vortex. We met a family in China, a father and son. The son asks for a story, a good one with a dragon and excitement, and the father obliges by telling his son the story of the Serpent’s Tooth, which is the same story in the comic. The father, known as Father Wu Wei, tells his son about the river dragon that floods, the people who fear the river, and their joy when a stranger arrives to build them a wall to protect them from the river’s waters. Then the people disappear until another mysterious stranger appears with companions to seek their missing friend…
When Gabby enters the fortress protected by the wall, she finds Cindy. The problem is, there are hundreds of Cindy’s, all created by the dreadful Red Jade General. The clones of Cindy are more than clones, not really Nestene, different too from Autons. In a nice link to the emoticon robots in “Smile,” the more recent Doctor Who episode, these clones have created their own species. The Doctor recognises that the women have created a culture: that makes them capable of being individuals.
There is a classic Doctor Who battle of wits between the Doctor and the Red Jade General, who apes the Doctor’s appearance as he attempts to take over the TARDIS. As the Doctor explains to him: “Every life is valuable! Every life is distinct! Why else do these ‘duplicates’ call themselves sisters…” Abadzis taps into the heart and soul of the Doctor’s mission across time and space, and the while the end of the battle might be predictable, it’s also life-affirming and meaningful.
The artwork from Giorgia Sposito and Arianna Florean is fantastic. The depiction of the river dragon is incredible. Page 19 is also a stealer, as the real Doctor and the Red Jade Doctor face off with competing views of what constitutes a life . As in the last issue, some of the comic book is drawn as authentic Chinese scrolls, The colouring is an appropriate sepia and the design looks authentic to the period.
Blogtor Rating 10/10 – A sensational issue all round.
Tenth Doctor Adventures Y3 #4 Shaper than a Serpent’s Tooth part 2 is in stores now.