I actually had to get caught up on this series before reviewing this issue and that probably played in my favor having two issues back to back to read. The thing about all books dealing with time travel is the timeline. Sure you can present it like Back to the Future and just have one trip back and one trip forward, but then that leaves you with Back to the Future and that’s not very interesting to read over and over. Theremin is very experimental with the way it presents the timeline in this issue and I’ll say that it works. It could potentially harm future issues, but something tells me that it won’t since each issue has had its own vibe so far. The thing about this issue is that I can’t possibly explain it in a linear way. The gist is that Chariman has seen how he dies and it’s at Theremin’s hands. Now he’s put a hit on him, but he’s told Theremin that there is a mole in the organization in order to trick him into going somewhere to be murdered. The question is… did it work? Does he trick Theremin or is he already ahead of plot against him? Or does this plot against him create the future betrayal? Time travel, you gotta love it.
I could be wrong, but there are possibly four or five timelines happening at once in this issue. The thing about it is that they all makes sense in the context that they’re presented in, it’s just that they make more sense if you re-read the issue and look for and read it based off the visual cues and only focus on one timeline at a time. Otherwise the story will literally jump time lines from panel to panel. Pires goal was to deliver “LSD doused fruit punch” in which everything connects, but is also falls apart. Well he succeeded. As I said in the story actually makes sense as is, given the context of it being about time travel, but in the same instance it’s completely broken. How Rose was able to take the script and translate that to the imagery is beyond me… he’s like some crazy robot that can beat a human at chess.
Seriously though this is Rose’s finest art to date; the intricacies of the timelines and the attention to detail brings Pires’ story home. Without Rose there to connect everything and masterfully illustrate it this easily could have been the most confusing single issue I have ever read. Instead I have visual cues in the coloring and details in the scenery that make it possible to follow. Hands down my favorite page was the last page because I didn’t get it. Maybe I just missed something, but I don’t think that final page has been explained and yet in a strange way I knew it was the most important page of the issue. There’s one panel of narration, but the rest is all Rose’s visuals and it works incredibly well as it explains everything and nothing.
Sadly I see a lot of people shying away from this issue or just being confused. Personally I enjoyed the mind fuck and the challenge to put all the pieces together. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have them all together yet, but that’s thrilling to me. I can’t wait to see what the next issue holds, but I know that it will probably be just as amazing.
Writer: Curt Pires Artist: Dalton Rose Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 10/2/13