Publisher: Image
Writers: Rory McConville
Artist: Ron Salas
Colourist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

This is the second instalment of the diverting two parter setting up some future possibilities in the world of Time Before Time. Last issue Sebastian, an ex-soldier with a sick grandson, was persuaded to join up with some other desperate mercenary types to steal data that might help locate Tatsu and Nadia’s time pod. Where last issue was mostly setting up the characters, especially Sebastian, and his situation this issue is a lot of action as their infiltration plan goes rather awry.

I will say that I knew it was correct not to get too attached to these characters last issue. So slight spoilers there but yeah do not get too attached. Some of the deaths hit harder than others. There is one in particular that is really rather gut wrenching. It’s a pretty unfair death and it did hit hard. That’s a good thing though that I have empathy for a character I’ve only seen in a couple of issues. Honestly that is a testament to the writing that there is that connection. The characters are very real.

That’s really one of the things that surprised me about this issue. Despite the fact that there’s a lot of action and violence, the character moments are not lost in there and if anything they are enhanced by the dangerous situations that the characters have found themselves in. It’s a really strong story because of that. I don’t want to mention too many spoilers because I think this issue really benefits the reader going in pretty much blind.

The art again is really good. Ron Salas seemed assured with what he is doing in this second issue. There’s a really good interview with him at the end of this issue with Declan Shalvey which was very interesting Salas has absolutely nailed the style of this series and the art here fits into the general run so well, whilst maintaining Ron Sala’s own style. It’s good to have something a bit different but not so different it throws you out of the world.

The action is really well done. The issue opens with action as our heroes are surrounded and have to fight their way through a lot of people. The chaos of the scene is perfectly captured. As are all the bullets flying back and forth and the explosions (also props to the lettering in those scenes). There are pages that just feel action packed and fully realise the chaos of a gun battle, which can be a disjointed, confusing and yes, scary time, for those involved. The art really helps set the tone with that. The colouring too helps emphasise those moments.

The art also adds to the deaths, which are shocking and unexpected and very well realised. I want to avoid too many spoilers but; they are very violent and that is portrayed in the art. It gives you a quick intake of breath every time it happens. I like too how it doesn’t need to linger too much but enough that each death has a real shocking impact.

I also really liked seeing the different aspects of the technology in this setting. One of my favourite bits was the 3-D security footage of the characters making their way through the facility. The panel of the characters’ movements exactly replicated in the 3-D images of the security footage. Then there’s the mech suit used by the bad guy. We’ve seen mech suits before but this is a really nice example and provides a much more sinister threat toward the end of the issue when things get desperate.

It’s really rather hard to say more without spoiling this issue. It’s a solid character issue with really good art that needs to be read without too many spoilers to get the full enjoyment out of it. I really enjoyed it, it’s as simple as that. It wonderfully expands out the world of Time Before Time and adds some really strong characters whom we may be seeing more of.

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