Time Before Time #1 Review: Subtle and Elegant

Time Before Time #1 is a brand new noirish science fiction tale that takes on the idea of working for a better life and feeling like there's no way out. With a heartless corporate-style organization exploiting fairly rare technology to extract fortune and, of course, spread suffering around.

Time Before Time #1 Review: Subtle and Elegant
Time Before Time #1 Cover. Credit: Image Comics

In the year 2140, Tatsuo works for a group called The Syndicate, which gets second-hand time machines and uses them for a variety of criminal-related purposes like relocating people to points in the past or poaching from the future. In a means similar to the company stores of yore, Tatsuo is in hock to the Syndicate, trying to work off a debt that keeps rising. He dreams of running away with his love and finding a new life, and circumstances work to deny him in interesting directions.

This script by Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville does a great job establishing the rules and premise, as well as establishing Tatsuo as a complex protagonist. Arrayed against him are a number of well-developed surprises, and the artwork from Joe Palmer and Chris O'Halloran provides this with a "Blade Runner meets Paul Grist" kind of feel that is a perfect fit for this story. Even the title, a play on the classic Cyndi Lauper song, is quietly brilliant, and the work here overall resonates, refusing to leave your head and determined to live there rent-free.

This isn't a splashy, high concept work, but it's subtle and elegant in its science-fiction noir take on things. A wonderful treat lies waiting for you if you don't mind a little bloodshed and the like. RATING: BUY.

Time Before Time #1
By Declan Shalvey, Rory McConville, Joe Palmer
The year is 2140, and to escape a world with no future, many turn to the Syndicate, a criminal organization who, for the right price, will smuggle you back in time to a better life. After working for the Syndicate for years, Tatsuo and Oscar decide to steal one of their boss's time machines-but soon find that the one thing you can't run from is your past. TIME BEFORE TIME is a brand-new ongoing series where writer/artist DECLAN SHALVEY (BOG BODIES) joins forces with the WRITE IT IN BLOOD team of RORY McCONVILLE and JOE PALMER. Looper meets SAGA in this extra-sized debut issue.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com. Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.