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Comic Book Review
An ancient evil from the heart of the universe! A god awakening from its sleep of ages! An impossible decision! Gabby, Cindy and the Doctor face their greatest challenge yet, on board the mothership of a race with the power to reshape entire galaxies – a race that was supposed to be extinct! What state will the Doctor and his companions – not to mention Dorothy Bell and the Cult of the Black Pyramid – be left in when the smoke clears…?
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this season finale, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what happens in this issue
Mind you, what is an author to do when his story reaches the point of unleashing an embittered member of a species so powerful that even the Time Lords couldn’t stand up to them? Back in 1975, script editor and ghost writer Robert Holmes chose to pad out the final episode of Pyramids of Mars by presenting the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith with a series of interactive puzzles in order to keep the story going.
Fast forward to 2015, and, having introduced us to Sutekh’s son Anubis at the end of the previous issue, Nick Abadzis has elected to conclude his storyline not with a massive battle (though there is one fatality), but with rather a lot of talking. It turns out that Anubis isn’t the sociopath his father was, nor as devious as his Uncle Horus. He’s actually fairly sympathetic, given his situation – though he does share his dad’s penchant for harsh stares (Paddington’s got nothing on this guy). It is commendable that the Doctor should achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis, but… I dunno, I kind of expected something more explosive for the finale.
At the very end of the tale, however, there are signs that Anubis (who is brought to snarling life by artist Elena Casagrande with a greater range of expressions than the 1975 Osiran mask could ever hope to manage) will turn to the dark side after all…
The writer similarly tries to have his cake and eat it regarding the fate of Gabby’s friend Cindy Wu. Will she join the TARDIS crew or not? Anyone who has been following the multi-Doctor miniseries Four Doctors will already know the answer to that – unsurprisingly, she chooses not to. However, she then changes her mind when it’s too late and the Doctor and Gabby have just left (it has to be said, they don’t stick around for long before dematerialising). I suspect that this will be followed up in some future episode, a la Tegan in Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity.