Review: Our Hapless Hero Goes From Bad To Worse In ‘The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time’ #2

by Olly MacNamee

Lab assistant Sean Bennett did a real number on the time stream in last month’s debut issue of The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time from John Layman and Karl Mostert, waking up in a mixed up world of his making. So, what better way to deal with this mess? Why, with more meddling with time travelling of course! Or at least that’s what out hapless hero thinks is the answer. Simply retrace your steps by re-using the time-machine and try to clean up. Well, you can imagine how that ends up. Especially when he comes face to face with himself. At times it reminded me of the mental gymnastics I needed to employ while watch indie sci-fi movie Primer but with humour.

Once again Layman plays fast and loose with the well known tropes of time-travel we’re all familiar with. Tropes that tell us, fundamentally, we should never f#%k with time. Ever.
Mostert’s clean, slimline artwork and Dee Cunliffe’s colors allows for a great deal more detail than I first noticed, yet on closer inspection its rather more complex than meets the eye. And that’s a real skill when depicting a world furnished with large scale architecture and dinosaurs while also including minute details from a number of time periods. All the while the rat breathes easily on the page. It never feels cluttered while sustaining a sense of setting and place. No better is this skill summed up that at both the opening of the issue – when Bennet looks at the topsy-turvy world right outside his window – as well as a double-page spread at the end that I won’t spoil for you.

Sean is an everyman you can get behind. He’s a helpless sap who just wants to get on and sort out a few personal issues. Life has treated him badly, that’s for sure. But, unlike the rest of us his attempts break time and space. Stuck in some kind of loop with every move he makes causing even larger ripples in the time stream, it’ll be fun to see how he gets out of the next misadventure he’s made come about. And all over a bunch of flowers too.
Good times ahead for readers, but maybe not for Sean in The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time #2 from AfterShock Comics and out now.

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