With this fourth installment, Valiant Comics’ Ivar, Timewalker continues to be one of the publisher’s best books. Fred Van Lente continues to craft a story that’s well paced, intelligent and yet very fun all at the same time. While this issue isn’t quite as good as the last, this book still very much deserves a place on your pull list. This issue explores the idea of changing the course of time, an idea that Ivar claimed in the last issue was impossible – but that isn’t an answer companion Neela is willing to accept. Ditching Ivar in a prehistoric era to battle with a giant scorpion, Neela hops through the time stream to 2001 with the goal of saving her father from the allergic reaction that caused his death. The frantic time-hopping seen in this issue is really exciting to watch play out. Van Lente has made us really love Neela’s character over the last few issues, and so watching her attempt to save a man who obviously means so much to her is gripping and at times quite heartbreaking.
Meanwhile this book’s ongoing plot thread exploring the sinister-looking robot Neela from the future also continues to develop. While we still don’t have anywhere near all the answers, enough hints and clues are dropped to keep our interest and by the end of the issue we’re brought tantalizingly close to the answers we’ve craved so desperately these last few months.
The only area this book falls short this month is – surprisingly – the art. I’ve praised the teaming of Clayton Henry and Brian Reber multiple times and the pair have certainly produced some fantastic panels and pages in the past. However, this issue the art isn’t quite up to the usual standard. Some of Henry’s faces occasionally look a little odd, and there is one panel where disproportionately long arms are particularly noticeable. However, the art in this issue is by no means bad, simply flawed. While it doesn’t significantly damage the quality of the book, it does take you out of the action a couple of times. Here’s hoping we see a return to form for this very talented art team in the next issue.
Aside from some flaws with the art however, this is another great issue of Ivar, Timewalker. This issue sees one particularly gripping set-piece, more witty dialogue, and a progression of Van Lente’s overarching story. Ivar, Timewalker continues to be a book worth your time and money, and one of my favorite comics currently on stands.