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Comic Book Review
With the help of a gang of intergalactic bounty hunters, the Doctor, Gabby and the Neanderthal Munmeth had attempted to put a stop to a cruel arena of death! But it seems as though they only succeeded in angering the enemy into creating a temporal tornado! What could be waiting for them on the other side…? Two storylines collide in the most unexpected way, as the Doctor, Gabby, Captain Jack, Cindy, Cleo, Munmeth and more find themselves thrown into battle – against one another…
Once again writer Nick Abadzis catches us off-balance with his follow-up to a cliffhanger. Last issue ended with the jellyfish-like Monaxi summoning a time bridge, and the Doctor and his allies being sucked into it. However, this instalment, the first of the two-part Arena of Fear, opens by switching the focus back to Cindy, Cleo and Erik, who we last saw three issues ago being attacked by the sinister, skeletal Mr Ebonite in New York City in the present day, only to be rescued by none other than Captain Jack Harkness!
However, they’re not in Sunset Park any more. Like the Doctor and co, they have been moved to a strange new location. They have also lost most of their memories, including how they got there. Even we don’t know where they are. The untamed landscape (which is beautifully rendered by Eleonora Carlini) looks vaguely prehistoric, and we are later informed that it is 29,000 years after the extinction of the Neanderthals, which happened about 40,000 years ago, which would make it around 11,000 BC ‘now’.
In their search for answers, Cindy’s party encounters individuals who are familiar to us but not to them, including Munmeth’s daughter Muthmunna and a Terileptil ‘river goddess’. As this strange aquatic creature joins the Asian on her mystical quest (as Erik calls it), I was reminded somewhat of the Japanese television series Monkey, not least because many of the characters carry and fight with staffs.
Eventually Jack and Cindy are reunited with the Doctor, and this title’s two plot arcs well and truly come together, though at first the characters have trouble recognising each other.
You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned Gabby yet. Where has the Doctor’s companion and Cindy’s best friend got to? Ah, that would be telling! To be continued...