Review by Ian Keogh
With The Good Companion, Nick Abadzis signs off on his selection of stories about the tenth Doctor. As the Doctor, Gabby and Cindy have travelled through time he’s shown several futures and tiny glimpses into what’s happened in alternate universes. Will any of these tragedies come to pass?
The relationship between the three lead characters has been skilfully progressed over time, and Abadzis can now write them as if they were they were his own family. That’s actually been the case for some while, and many nice conversations are included, some brief, some longer playing out the relationships between the three, and the bonus is the return of Cleo from earlier stories. While we’re admiring all that over the opening chapter, Abadzis drops the real terror. The primary threat, as seen in Giorgia Sposito’s sample art, were foreshadowed in Vortex Butterflies, and Abadzis has a nice handle on the Sentinels of Time also, threading back to the previous volume. They’re limited by their lack of imagination, following a purpose, but not adaptable enough to alter their plans when circumstances change.
Considering they have no facial expressions beyond what’s projected onto them, Sposito supplies them with personality through posing them, the red time guardian aggressive and the blue timid. She also takes the spheres of their heads and briefly develops a panel design from it, which is innovative. The script is an artistic gift in places, and Sposito’s interpretation is first rate. As with every other volume she’s drawn, the art is impeccable, clear, confident and spectacular when it can be.
Throughout the story Gabby’s receiving some help and advice, even though separated from the Doctor, but the revelation of who’s connecting is indulgent, and requires readers to have good memories of the TV continuity. For those who have, it provides a sentimental moment, and that’s followed by another. It’s perhaps a shame that the story couldn’t have been extended by a few pages to incorporate some closure in the form of an epilogue, as it’s difficult to see anything that might have been cut to accommodate it. It’s the one slight flaw in an otherwise admirable finish.
It’s inevitable that over ten volumes there have been a few dips, but they’ve been brief, and therefore minor. For most of the time Abadzis has provided intelligence, neat characterisation, conscientious plotting and thrills. This has been a very good run for the tenth Doctor, and no fan should be disappointed.