This is actually a pretty interesting series as it incorporates several genres into one, but manages to create a balance between them at the same time. At its core Zoe: Out of Time is about time travel, but all time travel stories are really science fiction at heart. It’s an enjoyable story even if it follows a pretty strict formula. In a rare treat the story actually begins in the past in the year that our yet to be introduced heroine will travel to: 1990. We meet Trent Darrow as he storms into his record producer’s office having stolen something. He then steals the dude’s car and takes off speeding. In-between sips of booze he attracts the cops attention. He decides to out race them and the best way is to put a train between them… he doesn’t make it, but the only reason I’m telling you this is because it factors into our first encounter with Zoe.
In the year 2050 we find Zoe breaking into a record label’s office and stealing the newspaper clipping of Trent’s death. She’s caught by the police upon leaving, but pulls a Darrow and decides to out race them. Instead of a train though the cops simply catch up with her and pull her over.
We then meet Zoe’s father who’s a famous physicist working on… time travel! They have a heated moment on the journey home. It becomes evident that Zoe’s mother is dead and that she’s not the easiest girl to raise while working on a huge world-changing project. Zoe chills out in her room while listening to Trent’s band “Rebel Lions” and thinks about something her mom told her before she died. She heads down stairs and makes up with her father and he decides to tell her about his time travel device. That turns out to be a mistake as the 90’s/Rebel Lions obsessed Zoe takes the device and heads out to meet her idol.
You should be able to see where the story is going from there. Basically it’s working its way back to the opening and what drove (pun!) Trent to the situation he ended up in and what was he stealing back from his evil producer. The story is entertaining and while it’s not knocking it out of the park with originality, the characters are fun and worth sticking around for. I do wish that it didn’t make the typical traveller out of time jokes like when Zoe offers to pay for the band’s meal and holds up her thumb to pay, which is the norm for her time period. Part of me was annoyed by this because she seemed to know a lot about the era, but then made an obvious mistake. I caulk this up to fandom though because she clearly had a very narrow focus of interest and didn’t try to learn about the other aspects of the era. In general the writing was strong and the characters interesting, even if they ventured into stereotypes at times.
The art is really good and basically steals the show. The first issue has a great hue of blue to the entire issue. I mean the future is blue! What’s not to love about that? The art style reminded me a lot of a fashion magazine which was honestly the best fit for the story. This isn’t your typical fantasy setting as its base in reality with only one fantastical element to it. The characters and settings are all photorealistic and 1990 is captured just right. The 80’s are still fading out so there is this great overlap of culture that’s captured on the page.
I enjoyed the first two issues and would definitely check out the rest of the series. It was entertaining and I’m curious to see how all of the events tie together in the end. I wasn’t crazy about some of the story angles or characterizations, but it was never enough to keep me from reading on. If you dig stories with a music angle or just time travel in general then check out Zoe: Out of Time.
Writers/Creators: J. Michalski & Alexander Lagos Artist: Derlis Santacruz Coloirst: Oren Kramek Self-Published Price: $.99 to $1.99 (Depending on Vendor) Website