Advance Review: `Time Before Time’ #15 Provides A Good Jumping-On Point

by Tom Smithyman

Overview

Once known for its hard-to-follow time-traveling adventures, this series has settled down and is telling interesting stories in a messed-up world. This issue provides a good spot for new readers – or those who previously abandoned the book – to learn more about Time.

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10

All comic books series run the risk of losing their audience after so many issues. For independent creator-owned books that are looking to develop entirely new characters, the challenge of keeping readers engaged and paying is particularly difficult. So every once in a while, they reset or provide a good jumping-on point in an established story. That device helps new readers understand what’s going without getting bogged down in the details while also reminding longtime fans of what’s what.

And that’s precisely what writers Rory McConville and Declan Shalvey have done in the beginning of a new arc of Time Before Time. A few issues ago, the time-hopping characters’ confusing adventures made the book difficult to read, particularly after a month of real time between issues. Now the creators are focusing on telling stories that remain true to their characters while making it easier for the reader to understand and to enjoy. It’s a positive step forward.

After focusing on a new character in the last mini-arc, Time returns to the primary protagonists Nadia Wells and Tatsuo Edwards and their fowl-mouthed robot Kevin. They are all skipping through time looking for something: Wells is searching for her family who have been lost somewhere in the past or future. Edwards is dying of radiation poisoning and is desperately looking for a cure. And Kevin, the comic relief, just wants a future without card games or birds.

Guest artist Eric Zawadzki joins the creative team for this arc. His style meshes perfectly with the established look of the series. It’s a largely gritty future full of unsavory characters, and Zawadzki depicts them well. He shines during a montage that has Wells skipping forward 75 years every panel, only to continually learn there is no cure for his disease. Each time we see Wells, he’s a little sicker. It’s as powerful as it is heartbreaking.

The creative team has proven they can tell great stories in the environment they’ve developed. With this new starting point now behind them, hopefully they can keep up the momentum for all of Time.

Time Before Time #15 will be available for purchase on August 3, 2022.

%d bloggers like this: