Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Dana Folkard
Summary: Intriguing time travel story with a philosophical twist.
Short and sweet.
Ouroboros, penned and illustrated by Michael Peckham, is a compelling science fiction tale that explores the 4th dimension and one man’s ability to traverse through time. Delving into the complications that arise from time travel and the ethical implications that result from one’s actions, Ouroboros ventures forth to deliver a curious and entertaining concept that many science fiction fans will appreciate.
The story follows Gabrielle, a troubled young man who was raised in a facility for juvenile delinquents. We see his tale unfold through a fragmented storyline, jumping from the past to the present in a non-linear fashion. During his time in detention Gabe’s is approached by a man simply known as “The Professor”, who offers Gabe the chance to be his test subject in an experiment which will allow him to see in four dimensions and hence travel in time through his memories. Naturally Gabe accepts the offer, thus embarking on a strange and exciting time travel adventure. Of course, trouble follows Gabe and complications arise when word about this ground-breaking tech gets out, resulting in challenges and unexpected problems for both Gabe and the Professor.
I do love a good ol’ time travel story, especially one that is written with a certain level of originality and panache. In this day and age, however, it is hard to be wholly original with various concepts and ideas easily leaking into the storytelling process. I do commend Michael Peckham for weaving an interesting a clever tale that not only explores travelling through time, but also ventures to delve into more philosophical notions surrounding ethics, morality and consequence. The main protagonist, Gabe, is chosen for his selfless moral compass, which sees him wanting to better the world and change the inequities the he encounters. Ultimately, it is this trait in him that shapes the overall flow of the narrative, from his relationships with both the Professor and his daughter, to the choices and sacrifices he makes. These ethical dilemmas that we see unfold bring an interesting dynamic to this story, making it more than just a swashbuckling time travel adventure. Whilst I found some of the plot developments a little predictable, I still enjoyed reading this story and my overall impression is that it was an entertaining read.
The art, which is also by Michael Peckham is unusual and striking. The entire story is in black and white, using a retro dot-like shading effect, combined with fine linework and heavy inking. The angular features and long faces reminded me of old manga from the late 60’s and early 70’s. It has a bubbly and animated sense of energy that easily captures the emotional toil that these characters are going through. Peckham also uses some interesting panel layouts and overlaying of images throughout the story, which helps to reinforce the disjointed tone of the narrative from the fragmented storyline. I liked the character design, enjoying their nicely drawn and spirited faces. I did find that during some of the action scenes that some of the characters looked a little stiff and rigid in their movements.
Overall, I thought that this was an intriguing time travel story. Short and sweet, this story explores interesting philosophical questions in a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey fashion.
I’m giving this story 3.6 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Michael Peckham
GENRE: Science Fiction
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard