The fourth issue of the second year of new adventures with the Tenth Doctor and his companion, New York-born Gabriella Gonzalez, opens in a wintry forest as we walk in the footsteps of Munmeth, shaman of the Wolf Tree Clan.
Munmeth is on a long journey to find anyone willing to help him on his quest to protect his neighboring clans. He is a storyteller who sings songs of knowledge, and a healer of some renown. We learn quickly that Munmeth has taken on this journey to gather forces together to stop a band of hunters unlike Munmeth and his people have ever known.
Notice: If you want to read the issue and would rather not get SPOILERS, stop here! But if you’re okay with it, feel free to keep on reading!
Munmeth is turned away by many clans before his journey takes him straight into the path of Gabby and the Doctor. The Doctor lies injured on the forest floor and Gabby begs for Munmeth to help her. Munmeth takes the Doctor and Gabby to a cave and tends to the Doctor’s injury as best he can. He builds a fire and promises an exhausted Gabby she is safe, then bids her rest while he sits down to guard over her.
The next morning Gabby wakes to find the Doctor is once again hale and hearty. The Doctor, Gabby, and Munmeth compare notes on the threat to his people (which Munmeth calls the Sky Hunters) after drawings Munmeth does on the cave walls give the Doctor and Gabby some clues about their own run-in with them as well as hints of yet another, independent threat. The trio head out towards Munmeth’s village and receive distressing news from an old villager before the Sky Hunters appear and snatch them all up out of the sky.
But Gabby gets rescued….only to be kidnapped again.
As the Doctor and Munmeth are taken away in the nets of the Sky Hunters, Gabby finds herself in the middle of something else entirely. Will she be able to talk her way out of it?
This issue sees us catch up with the Doctor and Gabby, who are completely unaware of the trouble they’ve left behind in New York with Gabby’s friend Cindy. The pair have landed on Earth during its Pleistocene period — ostensibly because Gabby wanted to visit her homeworld’s past — and found themselves in the middle of the trouble they always find.
Nick Abadzis’ choice of setting is as far removed as one could imagine from Cindy’s New York while remaining on the same planet. That juxtaposition is important coming so hot off the heels of the cliffhanger of Captain Jack’s reveal in the previous issue. We get the feeling that somehow, in some way, this story and Cindy’s will come together — and that’s the genius we’ve come to expect from Abadzis’ writing.
Abadzis also spends time highlighting Gabby’s reaction to the group of ancient humans known as the Neanderthals. Gabby’s growing respect for Munmeth challenges her perceptions on Earth’s historical evolution and makes her feel responsible for the eventual extinction of Munmeth’s people. The Doctor tries to talk her around to understanding that human evolution is far more complex than what she sees and feels but he is only partially successful. Under Abadzis’ hand, Gabby is realizing how difficult the life of a time traveler truly is.
This is artist Leonardo Romero’s debut in the Tenth Doctor series. His inks and pencils shine when depicting the stark landscape of a much-younger Earth and work well with colorists Arianna and Azzurra Florean’s wide and multi-colored palettes. Romero’s plains and mountains have a vast but warmly comfortable feel to them and his characters appear to move dynamically. Even background characters are rarely in generic poses. What is instantly noticeable, however, is the difference in which his main and background characters are drawn — specifically, in their eyes. Romero chooses to depict the Doctor and Gabby with open-pupils, lending them a wide-eyed look in comparison with the artwork of this series so far.
The story and artwork stands in stark contrast to the closeness of New York City, certainly on purpose. We look forward to finding out exactly what threats the Doctor, Gabby and Munmuth face in future installments! This is compelling storytelling and a visual delight as well.
DOCTOR WHO: TENTH DOCTOR YEAR TWO #2.4
WRITER: Nick Abadzis
ARTIST: Leonardo Romero
COLOURIST: Arianna Florean with Azzurra Florean
LETTERER: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
COVER A: Leonardo Romero & Debora Carita
COVER B: Photo (Will Brooks)
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE COUNT: 32pp
ON SALE: December 2, 2015
‘MEDICINE MAN’, Part 1
The Doctor and Gabby have had many adventures together – none more terrifying than facing the near-infinite power of Anubis and living to tell the tale! Although they stopped him from destroying the universe, Anubis has tasked the pair with finding a solution to his universe-shattering dilemma…though the Doctor has largely been ignoring him. That definitely won’t cause any problems further down the line…
Meanwhile, back in New York City, Cindy, Cleo and Erik were attacked by the terrifying Mr Ebonite – only to be saved by Captain Jack Harkness! But that’s a story for another day. Unaware of their friends’ plight, the Doctor and Gabby have dived into a new adventure, heading into the deep, deep past and the dawn of humanity as their travels take them to the Pleistocene – and the epic struggle between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon forces for the future of humankind!
Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor 10th Year Two #2.4 is available in stores and on digital platforms like comiXology on Thursday, January 6, 2016