Indie Comics Review: Time Before Time #1

by Carl Bryan
0 comment

Review: Time Before Time #1


[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Declan Shalvey, Rory McConville

Artist: Joe Palmer

ColoristChris O’Halloran

LettererHassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan



“I mean there is a reason people are handing over their savings to get out of here.  We are living in one of the shittiest periods in human history.” – Tatsuo

Time Before Time #1 – The year is 2140, and to escape a world with no future, many turn to the Syndicate, a criminal organization who, for the right price, will smuggle you back in time to a better life.

After working for the Syndicate for years, Tatsuo and Oscar decide to steal one of their boss’s time machines—but soon find that the one thing you can’t run from is your past.

TIME BEFORE TIME is a brand-new ongoing series where writer/artist DECLAN SHALVEY (BOG BODIES) joins forces with the WRITE IT IN BLOOD team of RORY McCONVILLE and JOE PALMER. Looper meets SAGA in this extra-sized debut issue.


I love rolling the dice on an issue #1.  I’ve been addicted to this practice ever since Spawn #1, and look where we are with that book.  So, when you see elaborate title images of the year like 1987 or 2140, it takes you aback.  I mean Brian Bendis does the same trick with planet locales in Legion of Super-Heroes.

But to see people deposited by a handler in a particular year in a isolated location…how random and how perfect!  We are not talking about specificity here.  It’s all so random yet someone is pulling the strings (The Syndicate).  Give up your life savings…go back or forward in time, and simply exist in that time stream.

Any ramifications…I don’t think so thus giving Antman a fit in his musings in the last Avengers Movie and possibly breaking every Doc and Marty McFly rule.  Imagine dropping off a rich serial killer in another time time period…oh the havoc!

Declan Shalvey and  Rory McConville are weaving quite the tale here that accelerates the story (no pun intended) when one our intrepid duo makes a misstep in one of his jumps.  We see the ramifications, the desperateness of the situation, and then a quick “things to to purgatory” moment that makes the story seem perfect for future issues.

Positives (more…)

They start the story perfectly when a child realizes that there is no WIFI in 1987.  You have to love the knowledge base here in that the authors set people down in a totally different environment where items have not been invented or in the future where you are a fish out of water.  Either way, this is setting up to be quite the race through time.

Negatives… but not really

Image has a possible hit on their hands.  That is what they do…give artists and authors the chance to create.  They don’t have the chains of standard characters like Batman or Spider-Man.  This is well played by the company and we are the benefactors in this comic in particular!



Depositing yourself somewhere in time…Looper, Stephen King’s 11/22/63, Avengers: Endgame, and now this book.  But this take is different.  An acknowledgement of what time travel can do to your body, the overarching power of a Syndicate that can find you some where in time, and pods that you have to trust your life to that look like bad refrigerator freezers.  What’s not to be intrigued about?

Get in on the ground floor of Time Before Time.  You won’t be able to travel back in time to get the first issue if you miss it….


5outof5 DC Comics News

You may also like