Indie Comics Review: Time Before Time #2

by Carl Bryan
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Review: Time Before Time #2


[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



“Well let’s put it this way Tatsuo.  If you think the past can be changed, do you really think the world would be like this?” – Syndicate

Time Before Time #2 – 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 barely escaping the Syndicate alive, Tatsuo must evade enemies old and new, all the while trying not to kill his new time-travelling companion. Who is Nadia Wells, and what does she want with a time machine?

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.


We don’t know where Tatsuo and his new found “partner” are after she interlopes into the acquiring of a junked time machine and they don’t either.   Writers Declan Shalvey and  Rory McConville really know how to get a story going in that the two protagonists are transported into the future and that timeline is skewed so badly that the year graphic is totally wrecked.  If that preceding sentence doesn’t make sense, just buy the book….it will then.  Or scroll down…you’ll get the picture!

Shalvey and McConville in a series of flashbacks and flash forwards continue this chase story across timelines.  Do I know the motivation of the Syndicate?  Not yet. Who is Helgi afraid of?  I don’t know.

And now we have a Union?  Who are they?  That is what I love about a new book.  If you give up all of your “time theories” that have been provided to us in recent years (Back to the Future to Avengers End Game), you really can approach this book with a fresh mind.   They write a very “Ray Bradburyish” type story here and that is a high science fiction compliment!

Positives (more…)

Comic levity is a must and there are some real tongue in cheek moments when commentary is offered depending on the year a person is dropped off in.  Whether it is music, or the current pop topic at the time, that is a very clever way to write to let you know not only “when” you are, but what the temperature of the time is!  Very cool writing technique.

The art…the lettering…this is where the grind begins as turning those thoughts and words into panels that make sense is hard.  But the trio of Joe Palmer,  Chris O’Halloran and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are making this story work at a really great pace.  From the dark and forbidding scenes of a horrid future, to the bright times in previous years, this is a fun book to read and re-read.  

Do I want more color?  Yeah, but given the story line we need to see the “seedier” side of this time jumping business!  Great work all around!

Negatives… but not really

Last review I indicated that Image has a possible hit on their hands.  Issue #2 proves they HAVE a hit on their hands.  Given the right treatment, this landscape has a lot of gas in it for stories!  What a great concept!



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?  Now we have “The Union” and a wild card of a new “partner”.

Again, 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….and the second one should be flying off the shelf!


5outof5 DC Comics News

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