RU reviews Vertigo’s newest anthology book, Time Warp, which focuses on on time travel stories and includes many writers’ first foray into Vertigo comics.
Time Warp #1
- R.I.P. – Damon Lindelof & Jeff Lemire
- It’s Full Of Demons – Tom King & Tom Fowler
- I Have What You Need – Gail Simone & Gael Bertrand
- Dead Boy Detectives – Mark Buckingham & Victor Santos
- She’s Not There – Peter Milligan & M.K. Perker
- 00:000:03 – Ray Fawkes & Andy Macdonald
- Warning Danger - Matt Kindt
- The Principle – Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard
Published by: DC Vertigo
Page Count: 80
Just look at all that talent. Go on, take a minute and take it all in. A Vertigo anthology with Simone, Abnett, Kindt, Milligan, Albuquerque, and Spurrier – how could I pass this up?
In the name of brevity and laziness I am not going focus on all eight of the tales in this book, rather I will draw attention to the ones that make the book worthwhile, and some that take away from the entertainment value of the book. If a story is not mentioned, it was good, but not great.
When I was in grade school a bunch of us used to sit around and ask each other what was the coolest way to die. I didn’t even have to think about it. The answer was obvious…’Eaten by a dinosaur.’ My name is Rip Hunter. I am a Time Master. And I am not ready to die.
R.I.P could easily be subtitled “The Last Rip Hunter Story” because that is exactly what it is. I will admit to not being all that familiar with Rip Hunter as a character, and I do not know anything about his role in the New 52, but if this is the way he goes out, more power to him. In seven pages of story, Damon Lindelof incorporates the essential time travel problems into one coherent and clean tale. I really liked this story for two reasons: 1 – The sheer awesomeness of Rip’s life is showcased in its full glory and 2 – this just goes to show that there are some DC characters that can exist in both DC and Vertigo continuity. Also, I may not be a fan of Jeff Lemire as a writer, but if R.I.P. is a fair sample of his work as an artist, I’d gladly read a book he was the artist on as long as he left the writing to someone else.
It’s Full Of Demons / The Principle: I’d like to go into some real detail for both of these entries but in order to do that I would spoil the plot/mystery of It’s Full Of Demons and I do not want to do that. What I will say is that one of these stories should not have been included because they both deal with the exact same time travel paradox but from different approaches. As big of a fan as I am of Dan Abnett, his tale, The Principle, although good, was not as good as Tom King’s It’s Full Of Demons from a thematic standpoint. It’s Full Of Demons was a sad tragic tale of childhood loss that, once I figured it out, made me feel bad for the main character and brought into perspective the possible cause and effect of messing with the time stream. The Principle, on the other hand, was interesting, but fell flat coming after Demons.
The Grudge – This chapter was a messy convoluted collection of anecdotes that barely came together to make any sense. The technology was never clearly explained, the main characters unlikeable, and had a resolution that felt like the creators ran out of room and no longer cared. The art felt lazy and the writing tried too hard to be interesting.
Dead Boy Detectives – I have tried and tried and tried to get into the concept of the Dead Boy Detectives, but every time I read a story about them it feels like a shtick and not something I’d want to read beyond a few pages. In this case that is doubly true since this tale will be continued in the next Vertigo anthology, Witching Hour. If I pick that up, I’ll probably skip this chapter.
00:000:03 – WOW! The more I think about 00:000:03 the more it impresses me. Ray Fawkes and Andy Macdonald provided social commentary on the nature of warfare, intelligence, family, love, sacrifice, and duty all while not beating the reader over the head with any kind of “message.” As I read 00:000:03 I kept waiting for the feel good twist, for the deus ex machine to save the day, and I became sincerely worried and concerned that it wouldn’t happen. The skill that goes into making a reader care that much in such a short amount of space is amazing, and I have nothing but respect for both creators attached to 00:000:03.
Warning Danger – Dear Matt Kindt, I love you. That is all.
One final note, for $7.99 I’d hoped for a better quality book. I do not mean the content, but the book itself. Dark Horse Presents, also an $8 anthology book, is much better put together, bigger, and has a binding that stays together even with the size of the book. Dark Horse Presents even has spine with the title and number printed on it making it more like a trade than a comic book. I know this is a petty difference to focus on, but the added quality and attention Dark Horse gives its anthology makes me feel like I am reading a cheap trade rather than an expensive comic book.
Of the eight stories collected in Time Warp, I disliked two of them, and that is a pretty good average.
Written or Contributed by GHERU
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