By Dustin Cabeal
Indie comics are hard to make. There are so many factors and reasons why I rarely see a second or third issue of an indie comic. Lately, I’ve seen those odds improve, but with it comes another catch. Do I want to review it? The thing is, we get a lot of comics and so when I’m on the fence about a comic I have to decide am I going to give it another chance or move on to something else sitting in my inbox. In the case of Life-Time, I scored the first issue rather low, and when that happens, I usually don’t want to read the next issue. Listen, I love indie comics, I love helping them out with reviews and exposure, but that doesn’t mean that I love all of them. They’re not kids; I can tell you who's my favorite.
The problem with Life-Time is that there are three timelines/story lines running throughout the issue and there is no connection between them. At least not one that you can find currently in the story. The first part of the issue is a dude escaping from a Nazi concentration camp. The action is wonderful; it’s pacing is perfect… I just don’t know what the hell is going on in the story which then promptly moves on to another plotline. The modern era part of the story struggles the most. While the first two parts of the story avoid exposition, suddenly in the third part it’s all anyone can do. Everything the main character, and I say that with a question mark, says is exposition and sadly, none of it means anything to the reader. It’s all little hints at what’s going on, but not enough for you to understand the plot yet.
It’s two issues in, and I still have no clue what’s happening. I didn’t have an inkling with the first issue which I re-read, and I still don’t with the second. There’s time traveling happening, but it’s taking it’s sweet ass time to get to what should be a simple explanation. Time travel stories explain their time traveling rules; it’s what they do unless there’s some sick twist at the end.
The art continues to the be the saving grace of the comic, but as good as the work is, the story bogs it down too much. Wordless action sequences are great in general, but without an overall plot to feed into it’s just a cool short story within a story.
Sadly, I won’t be back for the third issue of Life-Time. I have no reason to continue reading this series because I have no idea what the point of it all is yet. It’s almost as if it’s being written for the trade, but where it’s failing is giving the reader enough hints and reasons to get to the end. I want off the ride, and that’s not how I should feel while reading any story, indie or otherwise.
Creator: Pramit Santra