Out of Time has an interesting premise. Time travel has been discovered and for a fee you can be transported one way forward or backwards in time. Our main character Redmond is the travel agent of sorts and lays out the rules and risks of time traveling. He informs his client Mr. Gray who has decided to start over in the year 1852, that he’s only allowed to alter the timeline in microscopic ways and that if he does create a paradox they’ll both end up back in the room they’re in now. For payment Mr. Gray is to set up a bank account and deposit money in it here and there. It’s simple right? So why does Redmond hate his job? The story continues from there as Redmond is given a new recruit to train. She’s just there until her record label contract comes through, though she professes that she doesn’t sing very well. Redmond brings her to meet the team and grab some coffee before they jump to the future to be sure that their clients haven’t altered anything there. Sure enough, one of them have and now they have to figure out which one of them did.
The story is entertaining. The pacing is a bit choppy and the only reason I could see Redmond hating his job has to do with the ending. Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you what happens as it would be completely out of context. Otherwise I never got the sense that Redmond hated his life other than he might be bored with everything. He does time travel professionally so it’s not like there are places he hasn’t been, but maybe it’s the fact that he never gets to stay. Redmond is snarky and kind of a dick at times. I liked his character; I just wanted to understand the motivation behind him more. The narration lays it on thick, but I don’t think the story revealed enough after that.
It’s a shame that this is a one-shot because I think the characters would benefit from further issues. They don’t mesh together as a team in this one-shot, but given more story I think they would. I could see the ensemble cast coming together and being the best part of the story, but it’s starting off here and not at its strongest. Writer Luke Halsall would benefit from more time getting to know the characters and then I think he’d kick the story’s butt.
The art saves the story a lot. The characters have a cartoon design to them and almost stick man faces as there is very little detail outside of a distinct nose and dot eyes. It’s simple looking, but at the same time very detailed. Artist Cuttlefish also colors the issue and it’s a very cool direction for the art. Practically every page is a single color hue that changes with the scenes. Occasionally there will be another color, but it’s always used to signify a different timeline. I thought that was a very clever way of visually showing the different time lines.
It’s definitely an entertaining story. There are some jokes, but they just didn’t quite hit with me. The one joke I did like was about Americans, but as a sarcastic American I felt like I was laughing on the wrong side of the joke which was fine. It’s time travel done lightly. It plays by its own rules, but it doesn’t break the rules which are the most important part of a time travel story.
Writer: Luke James Halsall Artist: Cuttlefish Publisher: Obscure Reference Comics Website