In Time Before Time #2, time travel is in the hands of criminal organizations, and they use it to profit from things people need in other eras that aren't available. One of their couriers named Tatsuo wants out of this rat race, but before he can enact his escape, he's kidnapped by a rogue FBI agent named Nadia Wells, who forces him to take one of the time machines owned by his employers, The Syndicate and run … anywhen.
Sound interesting? It is. Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville have developed a world that has all the problems we know (nepotism, corruption, influence peddling, murder) and added a fun, fourth dimension to those human foibles. The artwork from Joe Palmer, Chris O'Halloran, and Hassan Otsmane Elhaou is stylized in a manner that says "slice of life" more than "noirish science fiction," but its strong facial acting and patient pacing works with the story.
One of the best things is how well thought out the timeline is. The Syndicate, for example, is engaged in a turf war with a criminal organization called the Union … in the past. Neither organization shares physical space with the other, but each one has staked out a number of decades that "belong" to them for purposes of an arena of activity. This is a very fun update on the traditional ideas of territory and gives a number of interesting implications since the book also implies this technology is not available to law enforcement. How ya like them apples?
All around, the more you read, the more this story pulls you in and makes you care what happens to Tetsuo and Nadia, and none of it looks good. This is very engaging science-fiction storytelling. RATING: BUY.
Time Before Time #2
By Declan Shalvey, Joe Palmer
After barely escaping the Syndicate alive, Tatsuo must evade enemies old and new, all the while trying not to kill his new time-travelling companion. Who is Nadia Wells, and what does she want with a time machine?