The Forgotten #5 is pretty great.
Last week, I mentioned the latest Thunderbolts as a text book example of decompression. This is just the opposite -- in the span of a few pages, this issue gives us damn near the same amount of information on the Time War that four years of the TV show have. The Eighth Doctor's story is nicely self-contained, yet it expands the Time War story, uses the potential of a Doctor whose history is only partially written (by, for example, giving him a non-human companion), and throws in the necessary "half-human" joke (with a fairly clever retcon explaining it). I imagine there are probably some nods to the radio series, too, since McGann spent a hell of a lot more time there than on TV, but Shada's the only one of those I've actually checked out. And this story, by its nature, has to take place after McGann's run, because it's during the Time War.
The Ninth Doctor story is surprising for being so much the opposite of what's expected. #9 was often a dark and brooding character, but this is a very lighthearted story.
I hate the colors in it, though -- feels like they've been slathered over Guerra's shading. There are some bits near the end of the issue where they're pretty nasty, too, though I love them in the shot where #10 opens the fob watch. Also a nice, if obvious, touch that that's #10's artifact.
So, rundown of the artifacts, then -- #1's is his cane, #2's is his recorder, #3's is his car keys, #4's is a bag of jelly babies, #5's is his cricket ball, #7's is his umbrella, #8's is, retroactively, the key he used to doom the Daleks and Time Lords and end the Time War, #9's is psychic paper, and #10's is the fob watch. I must have missed #6's. (EDIT: stopwatch. Right. Would have known that if I'd seen more #6 Who.)
And the last page reveal is very well-played -- as it's become increasingly hard to reconcile a goateed Master with the timeline we're working with here, the big question has, of course, been Who? Who indeed -- it's the OTHER Tenth Doctor...but now he has a GOATEE. Or at least, so it would appear -- could be another red herring. But really, all Martha's hinting throughout the issue at the Doctor's "other" regeneration would seem to suggest he's the genuine article. On the OTHER other hand, mucking with the latest series finale (and potentially making it better) -- does that sound like something the Beeb would allow? Then again, I wouldn't have expected so much Time War stuff to pass.
Anyway, good issue, despite some color oddities. For those who haven't been reading this series, it's probably worth checking out the trade.
Next month is the finale, the big throwdown with all ten Doctors. Or is it 10.5? Part of me thinks, how can they wrap this story up in just one more issue? But then I remember I'm thinking of the amount of story MOST writers cram into a single issue. Again, this series PACKS it in there -- 8-page stories are practically a lost art.