I was a little late to the Ivar, Timewalker party, but better late than never. The first issue got some pretty rave reviews so I guess I’ll throw my hat in the review ring.
With Neela still in shock from what’s recently unfolded, Ivar decides to demonstrate the rules of time travel with a real life example and a face to face with Hitler. Is it good?
Ivar, Timewalker #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
Because we didn’t review for the first issue, I’ll do a quick synopsis of the premise: Neela Sethi is a physicist who, when moments away from creating time travel, is approached by a man named Ivar, a time hopper who traveled back to save her from cyborg drones called Prometheans. These Prometheans hail from the futuristic city of Oblivi-1 whose leader is supposedly attempting to change the course of the history and control space time. What Ivar has failed to mentioned to Neela is that this villain of the future is actually a cybnertically-enhanced version of herself. (Dun Dun DUN!)
So in this issue, Neela realistically has a massive amount of questions about the rules of time travel which are conducted through arc-jump, which is when one passes through small wormholes that appear randomly throughout time and space. Ivar decides to take both of them back to early 20th century Europe and test Hawking’s Chronology Protection Theory, via the killing or inability to kill Adolf Hitler.
For being a time travel comic, the concepts and theories being represented are creatively unique and make it difficult to put down. The wit and humor incorporated help water down the mental exhaustion that both Neela and the reader share from attempting to understand the time-space continuum. It actually isn’t too complex compared to other time travel series and Van Lente and Henry do a great job of offering explanations to the concepts, but don’t require you to fully understand them if you’d prefer a more simple read.
While it’s obvious the writer did their homework when it comes to the nuclear astrophysics themes, it’s also quite apparent they had to consult some history textbooks as well (Or just Googled it. I suppose that’s a lot more convenient). There’s a lot of historical information crammed into this issue that makes it very appealing for history junkies. You find yourself walking away knowing just a little bit more about early 20th century Europe which is always nice if you want to make the excuse that comics are educational.
The writing itself avoids being too wordy which is difficult considering the level of concepts the writers are trying to get across. This issue brings up moral and ethical debates along with the now standard time-travel discussion. The dialogue is well articulated and Neela seems to react realistically to the events and asks the right questions (There’s nothing more frustrated than reading something and begging the characters to ask what the hell is going on and not just casually accept this mind-bobbling experience). The art is also consistently good which is something that I’ve grown to appreciate. The characters are detailed enough so you can easily recognize reoccurring characters (Reference to the last page of the issue) and there’s another arc-jumping sequence in this issue that’s done very well.
Is It Good?
Ivar, Timewalker showed a lot of potential from its first issue and this one gives us a glimpse at the story formatting going forward. The series is an amalgam of Dr. Who, The Terminator, and the Magic Tree House series, making it a unique and consistently entertaining series with each issue. High praise for this issue which should have you hooked if you were ever on the fence.
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