Much like when a new Doctor takes over, there's a fair amount of anticipation when a new comic book publisher takes on the licensing rights of Doctor Who. How will the writers approach the character? Who will be handling the artwork? And of course, there will be inevitable comparisons to the previous publisher. In Titan Comics' case, they've immediately taken a different approach from IDW Publishing by creating regular ongoing series for both the tenth and eleventh Doctors. Let's take a look at what they've done with Doctor number ten.

 Right from the gate, the writer Nick Abadzis spends a good deal of time establishing the character of Gabriella Castillo, who will presumably be the Doctor's new companion for this series. We learn a good deal about her extensive family and their relationships with each other. Nothing too groundbreaking here. Just the typical young teen trying to find herself and at the same time live up to her family's expectations. Clearly someone who would be glad for the opportunity to travel the universe.

The Doctor orders Heuvos Rancheros

A good Doctor Who story must also begin with a threat of some sort, and something odd is definitely going on in this community that Gabriella's family resides in. If the problem is bad enough to attract the Doctor's attention, then you know it's only going to get worse. Sure enough, the Doctor finally shows up about half way through the issue. At this point in the story, Abadzis is trying to keep the Doctor as unobtrusive as possible. The traveling Time Lord is not yet the star of this story, he remains a background player in Gabriella's life story.

Although Abadzis doesn't seem to want to put too much of the focus of the story on the Doctor at this point, he clearly wants to capture the Doctor's personality. In his effort to capture Ten's quirky behavior, it comes across as a bit forced. Admittedly, it may be hard to translate a live performance into writing, but Abadzis seems to be trying a little to hard to make Ten's behavior more Tennish than humanly possible. Okay, okay, we get it, he's quirky. Don't beat us over the head with it.

The story continues to follow Grabiella until it inevitably leads to a cliffhanger ending where the Doctor can dramatically step into the young girl's life. Their lives are both being threatened by a monstrous creature. Will the Doctor be able to save the day?

I can't say I am overly impressed with the artwork of Elene Casagrande. That isn't to say that it was bad, but just maybe that the script hasn't given her a chance to really bust out yet. Most of the story is focused on the rather mundane life of Gabriella, so of course, Elene is illustrating domestic scenes for most of the book. Plenty of standing around and talking, and light on action. I look forward to seeing what she can do once the action intensifies and the monster of the story can be completely revealed.

Since this was the first issue of a new era with a new companion and a new direction, it was expected that a good deal of space would be spent on establishing a background. I'm not sure the slow build up of suspense works as well in this format as it might in video. As this is only the first part of the story, it's a little hard to judge on how the whole will all fit together. It certainly makes me anticipate more and better things to come, which I guess is all you need to make a first issue successful. Can't wait to see how the Doctor and his new companion interact with each other...