This year marks the 25th anniversary of Valiant Comics and with it comes an onslaught of some amazing books and the new Valiant Next initiative. Acting as a jumping on point for those readers who are new to the publisher or those who grew up familiar with these characters but need a crash course. One of these titles is Ivar, Timewalker and as can be assumed from its title, the story deals with time travel.
Ivar, Timewalker is written by Fred Van Lente (Archer and Armstrong), who delivers a time traveling tale for the ages. Having Lente on this title is also quite appropriate seeing that Ivar is one of the immortal trio (along with Armstrong), so it is interesting to see the writer tell the tale of one of the “brothers”. We even get to meet the third during the journey. Filled with humor and enough temporal paradoxes to make your head spin, Timewalker makes you question what you would do if you were in the shoes of the main character Neela Sethi when it comes to the adventure she is pulled into. What I really liked about this book is that it doesn’t copy or try to emulate the time travel stories of the past. Instead, Lente uses references to these stories as more of a tribute. There are winks at Back to the Future, Terminator, and more; all used in an intelligent manner. This may seem very ‘Doctor Who’ like, but Lente does a great job at making Timewalker its own story.
Without going to much into spoilerville, Ivar is an immortal that can travel through time using a device called the Tachyon Compass. He’s one of those characters you’re not really sure about and and Lente does a perfect job at making you second guess who the real good guy is. But the story doesn’t really center around Ivar, instead it’s told through the eyes of Neela and her coming to grasp with the idea that SHE is the one who will eventually invent time-travel. Neela is a great character and her reactions to everything around her are priceless. Like a fish out of water, Neela is the perfect voice for how I would feel if I was dragged on this kind of journey. Throughout the first arc we find out that things are a lot more complicated than they seem. As usual the idea of the “butterfly effect” is brought into question and we find out eventually what the repercussions of messing with time are, or do we? I’ll let you find that out on your own when you read it. Lente is able to take the complications of time travel and make it understandable, not once did I feel lost when it came to the events that were playing out. Instead I couldn’t wait to read more.
The artwork is done stunningly by artist Clayton Henry as he brings each time period to life. Henry does a wonderful job with the action scenes and delivering the mood of the story and its characters, especially when it comes to Neela. Like I said before, this story is told through her eyes and Henry does well at capturing the emotional rollercoaster that the character goes through in this first arc. Brian Reber‘s colors are very dynamic, rich, and fun; just like the story itself. Ivar, Timewalker has that perfect balance a comic book should have.
The first arc wraps up today in issue #4, so there is still time to catch up on this exciting story if you haven’t had the chance. I highly recommend you do because once you finish #4 you’ll be begging for the next issue to come out!