By: Ed Brisson (writer and letters), Michael Walsh (art), Jordie Bellaire (colors)

The Story: In the near future, an agency exists that can go back in time and save loved ones before they die in accidents, etc.

Quick Review: This is a snappy enough story.  It probably won’t light anyone’s socks on fire, but it is very smoothly written, has an entertaining premise and very attractive art.

The basic concept for the story is interesting: What if a loved one died in an accident, but there was a private agency that could go back in time and pluck your loved one into the future?  Who wouldn’t want to do that for a family member?

What makes the issue more interesting is that it looks at all of this from a grass-roots level.  We get to know the agents who travel in time and see the damage all this time-jumping causes on their persons and lives.  They’re interesting characters who clearly have baggage that will impact the story in the future.  Further, we dig into a lot of the tricky little mundane realities of this time-jumping.  For example, the agents seem to be required to still fake the accidents and leave behind some dead body to fool the medical examiners.  I am a little curious to know why they have to do it this way and what sorts of time-stream rules we are playing with here.  Is this a “don’t mess up the past” type of story or is it a “screw the past” tale?  Given the level of details we get in this issue, we might actually get some of those answers.  This attention to detail immediately makes the story more interesting for me than seeing a such a story from the 30,000 foot view with people in a command center, sending out nameless agents to change the past (without touching the details of how any of this actually works).

The art is a big selling point for this issue.  Walsh is using a lot of blacks and that’s always nice.  He’s working from a basis in realism, but not getting so concerned with inking in every last detail on the page.  I actually like it this way.  If artists just provide the basic outlines of the characters, our imaginations can fill in the details.  Walsh never has a bad looking panel in this issue because he isn’t overcommitted to details.  If the artists draws those details into the panel, he must get them correct because the eyes of the reader will be drawn to the mistakes….and that isn’t what you want.  Walsh keeps our eyes focused on the story and not so much on the number and accuracy of the buttons on a guy’s shirt.  The colors by Jordi Bellaire are also very attractive, neutral colors.  If you like the type of coloring you see in comics like Criminal, you’ll enjoy this.

Conclusion: A nice gritty, time-jumping story.  This issue does a nice job of laying out the basics of the story and there will surely be twists and complications in future issues.

Grade: B

– Dean Stell

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