ADVANCED REVIEW: Rift #1 & #2

The Rift is a time traveling tale that reads more like the Captain America origin that should have happened in Marvel comics.

This is the tale of a single mother and her son making their way to a new life in California when their trip is waylaid by the sudden appearance of a crashing WWII fighter plane. One heroic rescue later and the events of this series begin to take shape.

Thomas Cole was shot down on Christmas Eve 1941, and yet he is in a hospital in Kansas in modern-day. He tries to convince the son of the woman who saved him to investigate his time travel claims by visiting a nearby Kansas town. Elijah Whitaker agrees and then dogs his mother until she agrees to check out the crazy man’s claims. Slowly the pieces begin to fall into place and it becomes clear that Tom is telling the truth.

The real action of the series comes from the military getting involved as it imperative that Tom must be sent back to his own time through the same rift that brought him to present day. If he stays in our timeline too long then he will become radioactive and cause a nuclear explosion. The military goes into detail that this is how events like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island came to pass. It wasn’t mistakes at nuclear power plants but instead cover ups for people who had stayed too long on our side of these rifts in time and space.

The meat and potatoes of this series is the heart that it has. Watching Tom deal with the present day is heart wrenching as he discovers that the beautiful wife he lift when he went to war is now a withered, bitter old Alzheimer’s  patient; His hometown is unrecognizable, and everyone that he loved is now gone. There is some real depth here and the writers take their time in mining up the emotions in the reader and make you feel for Tom. That same care is placed in the relationship with Elijah and his mother. Knowing that these two are basically on the run from an abusive boyfriend/spouse and trying to start over in California makes you like them from the jump. You want to like these characters. You want to see them happy and succeed.

Another major selling point to this series is the stunning artwork of Leno Carvalho. This artist is on the verge of breaking out into superstardom. His style falls between Bryan Hitch and Steve Epting and that’s some pretty high-class talent to be compared to. Leno’s work is flawless in execution, from quite panels of characters talking to one another, to action packed pages of explosions and crashes. This artist can do it all and make it look spectacular. Don’t be shocked to see this name tied to a book for the big two before the end of next year is wrapped up. This is talent that is just begging to be placed on a title like AVENGERS or JLA.

Final Thoughts: This title has all the ingredients necessary to become something special.  The first two issues are excellent building blocks in establishing the world and the conflict, now it’s a matter of seeing where the writers are taking us. Is this a sci-fi series? Is it tied into human drama? Political intrigue? Where are we going from here? I have no idea. But after these two solid offerings I can’t wait to take the trip. Good writing and stunning art make this one a sure fire hit. Check it out before you run out of time.

Final Grade: 5 Stars

Presented by JEREMY RENNER and written by KNIGHTFALL creators and executive producers DON HANDFIELD and RICHARD RAYNER.
Art: Leno Carvalho
Colors: Rodrigo Fernandes
Letters: DC Hopkins
Publisher: Red 5 Comics

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