by Robert Kirkman (writer), Cory Walker (penciller & inker), Dave Stewart & Chris Chuckry (colorists), and Rus Wooton (letterer)

The Story:  Science Dog desperately tries to rewrite history.

The Review:  Time for me to come clean: I’ve never really been a fan of Cory Walker.  Invincible co-creator or not, his work always seemed a little plain to me.  So I was really surprised to find that the art was probably the thing I liked most about this book.  Walker creates a world that’s a lot of fun and likable.  His characters are sympathetic and his illustrations of a weary and shaggy Science Dog are adorable….even if I was supposed to feel sad.  It’s impossible not to want to give shaggy Science Dog a hug.  Couple that with time machines, robots, action scenes all over the place, and wacky sci-fi galore and this is a comic that’s a lot of fun to look at.

It’s a shame that it’s not necessarily the most fun to read.  I’m sorry to say that this felt like really derivative stuff from Kirkman, regardless of how much fun he seems to have had writing it.  So much here is overly familiar.  The storyline where a character uses a time machine to change past events that should never have happened has been done to death, and the villain and supporting cast are pretty cookie cutter stuff.  As far as these basic elements go, there’s nothing here that’s distinct or that really stands out, and that drags the comic down, unfortunately.

Worse still, twice, Kirkman resorts to what feels like cheap montages.  This unfortunately felt like lazy storytelling more than anything else.

The one thing that did standout, however, was Science Dog’s lack of conscience late in the issue.  His friends could come back maimed, his world falling apart, and Science wouldn’t care…he’d just keep working on his time machine.  After all, if he can prevent all of this from happening, who cares?  Yes, people are suffering and misery abounds, but why bother intervening when you’re working on a time machine to undo it all?  It’s a really interesting philosophical argument that touches upon how a hero appraises human suffering, but unfortunately, it’s not a point that Kirkman really dwells upon.  It’s a weird moment to ruminate on, and nothing more.

Unfortunately, from there, the issue ends on the typical time-travel hijinks that leave you having to spend time piecing out to make sure that there aren’t any errors in logic.  That’s par for the course when it comes to time travel stories, but I’ll admit that it’s not something I’ve ever really enjoyed about them.

Amidst a derivative plot and characters, Kirkman does try to generate some emotion and angst, but the ho-hum nature of the characters and the condensed plot and resulting frenetic pace make this a losing battle.

Conclusion: Solid art and a glimmer of potential from what is, unfortunately, an utterly unremarkable comic.

Grade: C

-Alex Evans