Review by Troy Mayes
Time Bomb #2
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Release Date: 15/9/2010 (US)
I missed the chance to review Radical Publishing’s Time Bomb #1 but I’m not going to miss a shot at the second. This is a mini-series you need to get excited about.
The series contains all the right elements: Nazis, time travel, doomsday scenario and a healthy dose of action.
In 2012 a great discovery has been found in Berlin, a city built by the Nazis underneath Berlin (Nazis). In this city is a bomb, which is accidentally set off. It releases an incurable virus that will wipe out the Earth in 72 hours (doomsday scenario). A crack team is assembled to head back in time a few days to prevent the cities discovery. In awesome sci-fi style the device works too well and the team is sent back to 1945 (time travel). Armed to the teeth they alter their mission to find who’s in charge of the project and eliminate them (healthy dose of action). See, all the hallmarks of a great sci-fi comic are there.
Issue 2 begins with the team devising their plan of action after discovering they are actually in 1945. After helping some POWs and acquiring some Nazi uniforms the team head to Berlin to begin their search for the bomb. Behind all their actions is the knowledge that whatever they do will affect the future but there won’t even be a future if they don’t succeed. This knowledge, coupled with the dooms day scenario, gives the story more depth than simply being a fun ‘what if’ story. The team is soon split up and find themselves meeting heavy opposition and eventually having to damn the consequences to the future just so they can stay alive. The 1945 setting gives the story a real suspense feel as there’s so much danger about you are wondering just how the team will manage to succeed. The issue ends on a pretty big cliffhanger that leaves a lot at stake in the third and final issue. If it wasn’t for the fact that Radical released Time Bomb as a 60 page comic I’d be worried about its ability to end satisfactorily with one issue left.
The issue is helped by the introduction of a sadistic Nazi villain who is every bit as cruel as Christoph Waltz was charming in Inglorious Bastards. There are several scenes where we see his full brutality and twisted logic and these acts make him a dangerous foe. Inglorious Bastards is actually a fitting counterpart to Time Bomb especially with the infiltration and impersonation focus of #2.
There is also strong dialogue throughout the issue and good character awareness. Christian, the African-American member of the team, acknowledges the fact that he would stick out in Nazi Germany and therefore stays in the shadows providing support for the other three. The issue also allows sometime for the characters personalities to show through. Parts like Jack falling for the Gestapo worker Ruth and Peggy looking deflated after killing someone give you an idea about what sort of person they are, although the comic moves at such a pace with so much action and information crammed in that the development is minimal. Dialogue wise there are a few good wise cracks in the comic but it’s never enough to shift the focus from a serious to a fun comic. Instead the wise cracks make the dialogue and the characters seem more natural.
The artwork was good although I found it difficult to follow the action in the truck-jacking scene. The combination of the similar uniforms and the attempt at trying to show action while the truck was moving made it hard to follow. Also in some of the more zoomed out shots the Nazis look a little stiff and robtronic, particularly in the Gestapo meeting and the following scene where you see the underground city. Metzger, the main Nazi villain, also looked like a stereotypical Gestapo villain but then again there’s not much you can do with the design of such a character, the uniform says it all. The city though, both Berlin and the underground city, looked great. On one panel a character says “incredible” when laying eyes upon Berlin and that’s the same reaction the reader will have. Apart from the truck-jacking scene the action is handled well and while it’s hard to explain the way the four specialists are drawn in the fight scenes creates a sense that they are better trained and more advanced than the Nazis. Gulacy’s art also helps to reinforce the fact that this story is simply good vs. evil. The four sent back are the picture of health, and perfectly crafted human specimens. The Nazis on the other hand look weak or are sometimes deformed and it’s nice to see that sort of clear cut style.
Time Bomb has all the elements of a great sci-fi comic. The plot is interesting and has depth, the action fast and plentiful and the series continues the tradition of amazingly evil Nazi villains.
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