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.
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.