The Good Companion brings the Facing Fate arc to an action-packed and emotional conclusion. But can this really be the end for the Tenth Doctor and Gabby’s friendship?

The Good Companion is the third and final volume in the Facing Fate storyline (aka The Tenth Doctor: Year Three). It brings the arc surrounding the Vortex Butterfly, Gabby and the Time Sentinels’ plot to destroy the Doctor, to a satisfying close and ties together the elements from all the way back toYear One. Writer Nick Abadzis makes a natural end-point the stores he has been telling for the past 46 issues.

The action unites a wide swath of the Doctor’s allies and friends including Gabby, Cindy, Noobis, Cleo, Zhe, Onzlo, Marteek and Marcie. Opposing our heroes are the Time Sentinels, primary-coloured brothers to Shayde. (Shayde is currently facing off against the Twelfth Doctor in his final story in that strip.) The Time Sentinels continue their obsessive mission to ensure the Time Lock on the Time War is never broken while still believing that the Doctor is the greatest threat to the universe.

Tenth Doctor 3.14 Page 2 Art by Giorgia Sposito (c) BBC
Tenth Doctor 3.14 Page 2 Art by Giorgia Sposito (c) BBC

With various twists, turns, reversals and betrayals, The Good Companion is one of the Tenth Doctor’s most epic adventures.

There is also a nice bit of retro-foreshadowing. After all, this Titan run is squeezed between TV’s The Waters of Mars and The End of Time. The reader is reminded of this timeline by a spectral figure who appears to be Ood Sigma. The Time Sentinels are low on details or evidence beyond their innate instincts as constructs of the Matrix but the story implies that they’re trying to destroy the Doctor before he gets to his appointment at The End of Time.  It’s a nice, and suitably timey-wimey, touch.

Of course, this being a Tenth Doctor tale, things aren’t that simple. There are revelations of secret identities and shadowy forces step out of the sidelines at the eleventh hour to reveal a twist to the Time Sentinels’ predictions.  As the Doctor and his companions learn again, that you just can’t trust anyone these days.

As for the final page… well, I don’t think anyone could see that coming and we’ll leave that for the read to discover.

The Tenth Doctor Year Three #14 Page 5 (c) BBC
The Tenth Doctor Year Three #14 Page 5. Art by Giorgia Sposito (c) BBC

Giorgia Sposito’s art provides the ideal complement to Nick Abadzis’ intricate scripts

Giorgia Sposito joined the Tenth Doctor comics towards the end of Year Two. Her clear, clean style contains the perfect balance between graphical art and realism.  The Good Companion gives her plenty of scope to show off her superb skills. Based heavily on the legendary Dave Gibbons’ original design, the globe-headed Time Sentinels are simply gorgeous. The Red TARDIS is a delight.  Shaped as a completely functional copy of the Doctor’s time machine but with added “Thing-styled” tentacles and maws, is similarly rendered beautifully by Sposito’s pen.

Titan Comics have long shown their pride in the team of colourists they’ve assembled across the line. Adele Matera and Arianna Florean again show why that pride is justified. Abadzis’ script – with its Red TARDIS, world-consuming event horizon, and giant golden Lock-Keeper – is one that could only come to life with a crack team of colourists.

Tenth Doctor 3.14 Page 6. Art by Giorgia Sposito. (c) BBC
Tenth Doctor 3.14 Page 6. Art by Giorgia Sposito. (c) BBC

The Good Companion provides a fitting finale for a TARDIS team that’s come to be as loved by fans as any of those seen on screen

It resolves all the ongoing plots and subplots. Strands that aren’t definitively resolved are left a clear pointer to where things go from here. We may not get a proper, final discussion between Gabby and Cindy about the latter’s unrequited feelings for the former for instance, but there’s still a strong sense of Cindy finding closure and moving on.

So this volume feels like a capstone on the entire Nick Abadzis run. That would be a tragic shame as, for comics readers, he’s become one of the main architects of the Tenth Doctor’s voice. With official details of the Doctor Who line’s relaunch still under wraps, save for the Thirteenth Doctor title, we can only hope we still have more to come from the Tenth Doctor and this creative team.

Synopsys:

The Facing Fate trilogy reaches is the game-changing conclusion with devastating consequences for Gabby, Cindy and The Doctor! Will they all make it out in one piece? Or will the fate of these beloved companions be changed forever?

Script by Nick Abadzis, Art by Giorgia Sposito, Colours by Adele Matera and Arianna Florean, Lettering by Richard Starkings and Comiccraft’s Jimmy Betancourt

 

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