Things are getting more and more complicated for Sean Bennet in The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time #4, our hapless hero and time-travelling chump, as has future self has dumped at the beginning of time in an attempt to… kill him? Time-travel suicide? How does that even work? And why is he so seemingly dumb?
His solution as he stares down at the first stirrings of life on this planet? Smash it up, stamp on it, kill it!
And then things really get out of hand.
Every time Sean thinks he’s resetting time, he only makes matters worse, and it’s this resetting of reality that’s been at the heart of this whole series, offering writer John Layman the chance to offer up any number of alternative realities until you begin to wonder how, if at all, Sean will smooth this all out. The butterfly effect? At this point he’s figuratively killed a whole flight of them. It certainly keeps us readers on our toes as we try to keep up.
There are deliberate echoes from the previous issues here with the odd scene or two playing out in a similar fashion, but with different players – ones with 6 appendages – as Sean returns from the past to an Earth that is ruled by anthropomorphic insects and finally grows a backbone. Just in time for the final issue next time.
There is a goofiness in this whole affair that would not be out of place in the more classic sci-fi of the 50s and 60s, but that’s part of the enjoyment. Sean may well be a very throughly modern man, but the time-traveling capers he’s embroiled in could just as easy have come out of any Star Trek of Doctor Who episode of the late 60s. Why should sci-fi be so serous? But, it often is these days and what Layman reveals is that it is still a genre rip for riffing off.
Once again Karl Mostert’s artwork delights an I can only see a shining future for this up and coming artist who breathes life into Sean, a very expressive individual and a huge focus of this issue. Dee Cunniffe and Mark Dale’s color work helps make this comic pop but also complements the light-hearted story being told. Yes, there’s a lot at stake, but that doesn’t mean we can have some fun, right?
One more issue left, and maybe one chance to make things right. After all, if you have been paying close attention, there has been at least one constant in throughout this series. Does this individual from the past hold the answer? Or, will Sean f#&% up time once again?
The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time #4 is available July 22nd from AfterShock Comics.