REVIEW: Past Aways #4

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colorist: Bill Crabtree
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 06/24/2015

The team are all at sea, both literally and figuratively, as they attempt to rid the world  of what they discover to be a time tentacle.  To say that they are a team is a bit of a misnomer.  Sure they hang out together and yes they are somewhat co-ordinated, but something in the past has meant that they aren’t as close as they used to be.

There are a couple of interludes in this issue; we have the battle as told in session with a psychiatrist and of course the outcome.  This being Matt Kindt, the outcome goes on to create even more ambiguity.  Storytelling wise, the “telling a third party” angle works quite well as it allows not just the conclusion of the fight, but also the start of the friendship between Arthur and Phil.  This is key part of the story.  Both Arthur and Phil have their own agendas.  Indeed, Arthur’s actions to resolve the tentacle problem, may lead you to believe that he is selfish, which is totally different to how he appears with his speech to the team. Phil also has issues to work out, leaving the rest of the gang as the guys in the middle.

Scott Kollins is again on art duties and again does a solid job.  Last time I described the art as blocky and that style continues.  However, with the tone of the issue it seems that much more effective.  As a medium, an action styled sci-fi comic has to have a fight scene or two, but Kollins work suits the more reflective moments in the story.  The other good thing is the last page is a great looking page, adding to Kindt’s multi layered character piece.

I still have some problems with the book.  The little red boxes and the red taglines at the bottom of the numerous pages, serve to distract rather than actually be of help.  It may be an attempt to include humour in the book but, for me, falls a little flat.  Overall however, I enjoyed this issue more than the last.  This could be due to jumping in mid-fight last issue, this issue goes someway to add more context to Arthur’s and Phil’s actions and motivation respectively, which may not be up there with the Clark and Lex relationship, but there are definite echoes.  I am in no doubt that fans of the book will appreciate the slight change of pace in this issue, before ramping up to the arc’s conclusion.

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