Writers: Declan Shalvey & Rory McConville
Artist: Joe Palmer
Colourist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Here’s the thing about Time Before Time it’s just… really, really good. I mean basically that’s what this review is. As we hit the penultimate issue of the second arc anyone who hasn’t been reading it so far has been missing out. I cannot recommend this book enough. Honestly it’s just so, so good. So this is not an objective review, well it is in that I am correct and this is an excellent book. Let’s delve a little into why here.
The ongoing plot threads of this second arc nicely come together here. Nadia and Tatsuo have kind of been on their own journeys throughout the second arc and both are reaching a climax. What’s nice is their paths come back together this issue. I’ve enjoyed their stories but also missed their dynamic so it’s good to see that restored here.
There is another dynamic though that I enjoyed and that is Tatsuo and Kevin the robot. After breaking the news to Tatsuo that he’s dying Kevin does his best to be reassuring. Throughout Kevin provides humour as only a robot can. Whether trying and failing to reassure Tatsuo or running over enemies he’s always there telling it like it is and well wisecracking robots are a weakness of mine and Kevin is in the best tradition of witty AIs. We all need a friend like Kevin.
Nadia is lucky that she had a friend like Claudette. Cornered by the Union who are searching for Tatsuo, Nadia is in trouble but Claudette has handbag wielding skills that work very well. Needless to say the action as they escape the Union is brilliantly drawn as usual. The satisfying whack of Claudette’s handbag across Gair’s face before Nadia knees him are just great moments. The way that is segued into the future and the fight on the Conglomerate ship is really nice composition too.
That’s right, we also pick up the nightmarish fight aboard the Conglomerate ship. There is a very shocking moment that takes place. I will not even hint to spoil it but needless to say Marston is as ruthless as his son Helgi was. I did not see what happened coming at all. If anything I read it the wrong way. I love when that happens and this book never disappoints with the shocking developments.
The art also never disappoints. It’s just great. The action is dynamic, the violence as shocking as it should be, in a good way, the character expressions always a window into their emotions. There’s also loads of neat little background details throughout. Visually it’s just a real pleasure to read. It neatly goes between one time period and another. The colouring, the lines, it’s all so good.
What’s also good is the nice little twist at the very end too, again another layer to a pleasantly complex setting.
This is just a really good book. I am so invested in this world and these characters. It’s well written and well drawn and one of those books where I enjoy re-reading each issue to review it. Honestly you should have been reading this book back in issue #1 because eleven issues in and this is one of the best time travel books you’ll read.
Expect me to repeat that next month. This book is just consistently that good.