missed the chance to review Radical Publishing's Time Bomb #1
but I'm not going to miss a shot at the second. This is a
mini-series you need to get excited about.
The series contains all the right elements: Nazis, time travel,
doomsday scenario and a healthy dose of action.
In 2012 a great discovery has been found in Berlin, a city built by
the Nazis underneath Berlin (Nazis). In this city is a bomb, which
is accidentally set off. It releases an incurable virus that will
wipe out the Earth in 72 hours (doomsday scenario). A crack team is
assembled to head back in time a few days to prevent the cities
discovery. In awesome sci-fi style the device works too well and the
team is sent back to 1945 (time travel). Armed to the teeth they
alter their mission to find who’s in charge of the project and
eliminate them (healthy dose of action). See, all the hallmarks of a
great sci-fi comic are there.
Issue 2 begins with the team devising their plan of action after
discovering they are actually in 1945. After helping some POWs and
acquiring some Nazi uniforms the team head to Berlin to begin their
search for the bomb. Behind all their actions is the knowledge that
whatever they do will affect the future but there won't even be a
future if they don't succeed. This knowledge, coupled with the dooms
day scenario, gives the story more depth than simply being a fun
'what if' story. The team is soon split up and find themselves
meeting heavy opposition and eventually having to damn the
consequences to the future just so they can stay alive. The 1945
setting gives the story a real suspense feel as there’s so much
danger about you are wondering just how the team will manage to
succeed. The issue ends on a pretty big cliffhanger that leaves a
lot at stake in the third and final issue. If it wasn’t for the fact
that Radical released Time Bomb as a 60 page comic I’d be
worried about its ability to end satisfactorily with one issue left.
The issue is helped by the introduction of a sadistic Nazi villain
who is every bit as cruel as Christoph Waltz was charming in
Inglorious Bastards. There are several scenes where we see his
full brutality and twisted logic and these acts make him a dangerous
foe. Inglorious Bastards is actually a fitting counterpart
to Time Bomb especially with the infiltration and
impersonation focus of #2.
There is also strong dialogue throughout the issue and good
character awareness. Christian, the African-American member of the
team, acknowledges the fact that he would stick out in Nazi Germany
and therefore stays in the shadows providing support for the other
three. The issue also allows sometime for the characters
personalities to show through. Parts like Jack falling for the
Gestapo worker Ruth and Peggy looking deflated after killing someone
give you an idea about what sort of person they are, although the
comic moves at such a pace with so much action and information
crammed in that the development is minimal. Dialogue wise there are
a few good wise cracks in the comic but it’s never enough to shift
the focus from a serious to a fun comic. Instead the wise cracks
make the dialogue and the characters seem more natural.
The artwork was good although I found it difficult to follow the
action in the truck-jacking scene. The combination of the similar
uniforms and the attempt at trying to show action while the truck
was moving made it hard to follow. Also in some of the more zoomed
out shots the Nazis look a little stiff and robtronic, particularly
in the Gestapo meeting and the following scene where you see the
underground city. Metzger, the main Nazi villain, also looked like a
stereotypical Gestapo villain but then again there’s not much you
can do with the design of such a character, the uniform says it all.
The city though, both Berlin and the underground city, looked great.
On one panel a character says “incredible” when laying eyes upon
Berlin and that’s the same reaction the reader will have. Apart from
the truck-jacking scene the action is handled well and while it’s
hard to explain the way the four specialists are drawn in the fight
scenes creates a sense that they are better trained and more
advanced than the Nazis. Gulacy’s art also helps to reinforce the
fact that this story is simply good vs. evil. The four sent back are
the picture of health, and perfectly crafted human specimens. The
Nazis on the other hand look weak or are sometimes deformed and it’s
nice to see that sort of clear cut style.
has all the elements of a great sci-fi comic. The plot is
interesting and has depth, the action fast and plentiful and the
series continues the tradition of amazingly evil Nazi