ADVANCE REVIEW: Time Warriors #1

Story: Guy Hasson
Art: Juan Manuel Almirón
Publisher: New Worlds Comics
Release Date: May 13, 2015

New Worlds Comics, the indie publisher behind last year’s breakout hit “Wynter” jumps back into the science fiction mix this May with “Time Warriors”.

From the New Worlds website:

Time Warriors is about a young team of cadets in a war unlike any you’ve ever seen. With time travel used as a weapon, the rules are completely different.

The cadets are trained to go on suicide missions deep into enemy territory, collect data, and die. After their mission is complete, time is reversed: They never leave for the missions, but the data they collect remains.

In the first issue, to graduate – everybody has to die for the first time!

How would you spend your last few hours? What would you do?

I’d been excited to read this book ever since Hasson announced that he was working on the project. In anticipation of its release, and in true New Worlds’ fashion, he asked Twitter to decide what the cover for the book’s first issue would look like; so, give yourselves a round of applause for a great choice.

Well despite that awesome cover, my hopes, and what sounded like an interesting premise, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Based on the success of “Wynter”, due in no small part to the excellent artwork, round characters and engrossing plot, I expected something similar here. The book delivers on two of those three points, but I find that Almirón’s art just isn’t for me.

Time travel stories are already difficult to do (well) in comics, in my opinion, and most everything has to be perfect from an artistic standpoint in order for a book to succeed. I find that that’s because if you spend too much time thinking about how the physics of the story work as opposed to focusing on the theme and visuals of the story, your ability to suspend disbelief will evaporate before you’re engaged enough to enjoy the story at all.

At least, that’s what tends to happen in my case.

I got taken out of the context of this story because I just couldn’t seem to digest the panels. The style just seemed way too abrupt and unpolished for the level of complexity that’s involved in a tale like this. For me to believe that a unit of soldiers trained to travel back in time and gather intel only to die, and then have time reversed so that the mission never took place — except the data that they’ve collected proves otherwise —  I need, personally, for the artwork to make me forget the inherent absurdity of all that.

It’s made more frustrating by the fact that not every panel is bad and Almirón shows a great deal of promise at times. He has a good grasp of the use of shadow, lighting effects and perspective, it’s just the coloring style and character facial features that really don’t do his potential or the concept of this story any real justice in my opinion. It’s not that either is horrible, but neither seem to fit the tone of “Warriors” very well.

That’s a shame because if “Wynter” is any indication, Hasson is an excellent storyteller and I really wanted to like this book as much as that phenomenal work. I just didn’t feel the magic in this first issue, but maybe the next installment will be better.

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