Or – “AN-THO-LO-GEE! AN-THO-LO-GEE! YOU BORDER ON… THE… AD-RI… ATIC!”
The day of the monthly anthology may be done, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still places where comic publishers can deliver short story goodness to their readers. We’re going old-school, with the legendary Time Warp, and your Major Spoilers review awaits!
TIME WARP #1
Writer(s): Damon Lindelof/Tom King/Gail Simone/Simon Spurrier/Toby Litt/Peter Milligan/Matt Kindt/Dan Abnett/Ray Fawkes
Artist(s): Jeff Lemire/Tom Fowler/Gael Bertrand/Michael Dowling/Mark Buckingham/Victor Santos/M.K. Perker/Matt Kindt/Inj Culbard/Andy MacDonald
Colorist(s): Jose Villarrubia/Jordie Bellaire/Michael DowlingLee Loughridge/M.K. Perker/Inj Culbard
Letterer(s): Travis Lanham/Dezi Sienty/Dave Sharpe/Todd Klein/Carlos M. Mangual/Taylor Esposito/Jared K. Fletcher
Editor(s): Mark Doyle/Gregory Lockard/Sara Miller & Will Dennis/Gregory Lockard/Shelly Bond/Karen Berger
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Cover Price: $7.99
Previously, in Time Warp: Back in the day, there were hundreds of monthly comics, covering multiple genres, from funny animals to romance and back. Among those titles were anthologies like ‘The Twilight Zone,’ ‘Tales From The Crypt,’ and DC’s very own respective houses of Mystery and Secrets. Time Warp was a science fiction anthology that debuted in the late 70s, but only ran for a few issues before being consumed by the general malaise at DC Comics (the “DC Implosion”.) The book merged with ‘The Unexpected,’ which only limped along for a couple more years before it, too, succumbed to cancellation. Still, it’s well-remembered among those of us old enough, leading to its return as the next in DC’s anthology series after Ghosts #1…
AN ALL-STAR CREATIVE TEAM OR SEVEN…
Reviews are always a difficult game to balance, especially when you’re dealing with material as variable as comics. This issue, featuring almost a dozen different stories, has the advantage that any anthology has, in that a bad story can immediately be followed by one that’s more successful, but the downside comes in finding multiple stories that you don’t care for. We start off strong with a tale of time travel and paradox featuring Rip Hunter, and appropriately written by Lost’s Damon Lindelof. Though the art is a bit sketchy (intentionally so, mind you), the story is a great way to tee-off the book, leading right into a disturbing alternate reality tale with an Outer-Limits-worthy reveal at the end, followed by Gail Simone ripping out your heart with a tale of time-travel and justice worthy of Rod Serling. (Yeah, I said it. And I’ll stand by it, it’s that good, and the gorgeously quirky art makes the story even more so.)
LITTLE SURPRISES AROUND EVERY CORNER, BUT NOTHING DANGEROUS…
Si Spurrier (of ‘Crossed’ fame) delivers a mean-spirited but somehow still touching tale of time, space, love and rivalry with absolutely GORGEOUS art by Michael Dowling, a story that feels as Vertigo as Vertigo can be. Things do take a slight dip with the inclusion of the next chapter of ‘The Dead Boy Detectives,’ not because the story isn’t of sufficient quality, but because of a slight genre dissonance with its ghost-story trappings in the midst of a book that is ostensibly sci-fi/suspense/horror. Still, it’s a good chapter, which leads us into the NEXT big anthology book (The Witching Hour, in case you’re interested.) This book is like a big bag of your favorite Halloween candy, great for dipping into at will, with the knowledge that you’ll never get that terrible bag of candy corn that tastes like wet bicycle tires and shares it’s texture. We get a mix of the ghostly and the sci/fi from Peter Milligan, followed by a Ray Fawkes tale of loss and mortality in space, and a couple of Heinlein-inspired stories to wrap the book up in fine fashion. It’s a pretty tidy package, even for the price, give you nearly four times the content of a regular title for a little more than twice the price.
THE BOTTOM LINE: TOTALLY WORTH THE COVER PRICE FOR ALL THE CONTENT INSIDE…
The last story alone, with it’s almost effortless inversion and merciless deconstruction of the myths and carbuncles of time-travel would have me buying this book, but Simone’s story is flat-out excellent, as is Lindelof’s tale… Now that you mention it, there isn’t a really bad story in the bunch, only ones that aren’t quite up to the brilliance of the top contenders, leaving some serious kudos to DC/Vertigo. This is a book you should get, period. Time Warp #1 reminds me of the greats, with a little bit of Bradbury, a little bit of Serling, just a dash of Philip K. Dick and a whole heap of quality comic bookery, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. Seriously, check this one out.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!