Chrononauts: Future Shock 1-4 Review - Time Travel Done Right
•Giovanna Niro (Colorist) • Image Comics (Publisher)
I've been reading comics for a long time. Chrononauts is one of the most unique and ambitious comics I've ever encountered.
Issues 1 through 4 are all released the same day. It's a little weird but once you start reading the book and the twist is revealed you'll understand why the comic was released this way. Its a cool and original concept. Basically what you have in Chrononauts is the most interesting story of Time Travel and Gardening you'll ever read in a series. The concept comes from the prolific minds of Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Space Bandits) and Sean Gordon Murphy (Batman: White Kight) and features excellent art direction from Eric Canete and Giovanna Niro.
Our lead characters are Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly. They are best friends and also two of the world's greatest scientists. They make an odd couple but the chemistry between them makes them feel like real people. Corbin is a little more cautious in his approach while Danny is a lot more carefree, picking his spots for maximum effect while looking cool in the process.
In the setting, time travel exists. The pair have successfully traveled back in time but have not been able to go forward in the timestream. We get hilarious scenes in the past before launching forward into the future. Because of the nature of the story. I won't get too heavy into spoiler territory in this review.
The comic features one of the coolest time travel concepts I've ever seen in fiction and the beauty of the story is that Mark doesn't cheat. I'm not the biggest fan of time travel. Mainly due to many lesser writers being willy nilly with how the time travel works. From the beginning of Chrononauts, it's firmly established how the concept works and as the situations become crazier and layered the rules remain in place.
Corbin and Danny are a lot of fun but it's not all fun and games. Beyond the shenanigans with the timestream, the characters are layered and have motivations that are totally relatable. By the end of the series, there are multiple heartfelt moments that resonated with me. I was very happy that I was able to read the entire series in one sitting. This leads me to my one issue with the series.
If someone grabs issue #1 with no prior knowledge of the concept, or knowledge that the entire series was released at once, they may miss out. I'm not sure if I want to knock the rating down for it but It's definitely a concern.
My shop ordered a ton of the first issue, but only had a few of the later issues on new comic book day. I'm sure Mark and Co will release a trade or graphic novel in the future. I'm just concerned that shops may order conservatively and fans may miss out on a great story. The ending is particularly strong.
Chrononauts is totally disconnected from Space Bandits but feels like a nice companion piece. Both series have excellent fleshed out protagonists, stories and art direction. Both would translate easily to a series on Netflix or the big screen and are pretty friggin cool in their own right.
Chrononauts tries something different and nails it. The alternative of waiting 4 months for this story would have sucked and I appreciate having the option to read the books all at once. The art is amazing, the concept is unique and the story is thoroughly entertaining.
You can't go wrong with Chrononauts, I'd definitely be interested in seeing a second volume.