Review by Noel Bartocci
Imagine an underground Nazi base, untouched for decades and filled with advanced technology, far beyond the means of the Third Reich. Stumbling upon this find could (and does) threaten the existence of the human race. The only thing left to do is travel back in time before it’s found and warn the powers that be not to trigger a particular chain of events. Funny thing about time travel though is it’s not an exact science. Our four highly trained heroes are sent back a little farther than expected. They traveled a lot farther, in fact. Their only chance is to stop this disaster at the start… in Nazi occupied Germany during World War II.
So sets up writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s science fiction spy thriller, Time Bomb. The two are known for their ability to work within the confines of any genre and have decided to mix a few for this newest project. Best known for their critical success on runs of Jonah Hex and Power Girl, two wildly different books tonally, Palmiotti and Gray bring their collective chops to this “historical” action piece.
The first third of this over sized, prestige format book largely concerns itself with the discovery of an underground Nazi city in the middle of Europe, interlaced with scenes introducing the team members that will eventually be charged with the world’s salvation. It’s effective, fast, and sets up all the information economically. These three men and one woman are given very specific broad strokes, telling the audience exactly what we need to know. There’s already an inherent drama in the pairing of these people that the eventual placement of them in such an extreme situation is loaded with possibilities.
Taking a large part in elevating this story beyond a genre are the beautiful pencils by journeyed comic book artist, Paul Gulacy. His storytelling and panel layouts are top notch, added to the epic scale of this particular tale. These characters are acting. He’s wonderfully able to capture the wide range of human emotion in even the nameless of a crowd. Nowhere is it more evident than in a prolonged, dialogue free section of the book depicting destruction and mass hysteria all over Europe. It’s beautiful in its chaos, destruction, and eventual desperation. This sequence sets the stakes quite high while also delivering an emotional resonance to this disaster.
Issue one’s main concern is to establish this far-fetched plot and bring you into its alternate world with a level of realism and style. It does so in spades, ending on a fun cliffhanger that sets up our heroes to fight off a horde of Nazi soldiers. With the mechanics of time travel and sci-fi techno-babble out of the way, all we have left is the mission. It’s a fun place to be and, judging from this first issue, will result in grand action and adventure.
Few things are better than stories about a man out of time. So many possibilities are in store when dealing with timelines and what if scenarios. If the wrap up to this epic adventure is as competent and well paced as the opener, then fans of the medium are in for a treat. This is the kind of story that can only be told in comic books; something that I’m sure isn’t lost on the creators. They revel in it, in fact, and deliver a top-notch package.
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