Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time Warp #1

Written by Damon Lindelof, Tom King, Gail Simone, Simon Spurrier, Toby Litt, Peter Milligan, Ray Fawkes, Matt Kindt, and Dan Abnett
Art by Jeff Lemire, Tom Fowler, Gael Bertand, Michael Dowling, Mark Buckingham, Victor Santos, MK Perker, Andy MacDonald, Matt Kindt, and INJ Culbard

I would say that Time Warp is one of the more successful of Vertigo's recent quarterly anthology books.  With the notable exception of the Dead Boy Detectives story (which, in addition to being generally unimpressive doesn't belong in a book about time travel), the different short stories collected here really complement one another nicely.  As well, the book has a good balance between the usual Vertigo stable and some up-and-comers.

When you think about time travel story potential, there are a few standard stories.  There is the story about the person who wants to go back in time to save a loved one, or to fix great evil.  We also see the story of the person who meets him or herself, or the person who wants to utilise time travel for personal gain.  That's basically what we get here, but the book contains a few interesting twists.

Many of these stories are based on technology as the gateway for time travel, but in Gail Simone's story, it is through chocolates and other confections that one can revisit their past.  In Peter Milligan's, technology can't bring back your lost love, but it can provide you with a pretty good holographic likeness.

Adolf Hitler is a recurring character in this book, as we see a story (by King and Fowler) about the world had he been killed by a time traveller near the front of the book, and another about the time travellers who need to protect him from other time travellers at the end (re-teaming the amazing New Deadwardians team of Abnett and Culbard).

I particularly enjoyed the Rip Hunter story by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire, and Matt Kindt's story about warring cultures that expend great capital to fight over a planet rich in natural resources.  I also thought that Simon Spurrier and Michael Dowling's story of scientific rivalry would make a good companion to the Image series Nowhere Men, and enjoyed the suggestion that science is becoming too fame-oriented in our celebrity-obsessed culture.

In all, this is a solid book, and well worth the cost of two issues of a Marvel NOW! comic for four-times the content.

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