"We have to study and document it for future generations" - Martin Runcible
Issue 2 of The Time Being kicks off immediately after events in the first book. For those with low attention spans, or world shattering hangovers, a bit of a recap before we launch into the new material. Martin Runcible is a Librarian dreaming of adventure and experiencing some of the stuff he reads about in his books. Bones and Sawyer are two skeleton zombies who along with their pet sheep Cheesy have release the titular beast that could destroy the world. Emelia Sansbury is an adventurist who wants something new in her life. And Daisy, who's like Death incarnate, is the last best chance of us finding out how to avert the apocalypse. They have all arrived at a Ziggurat, sue me I wanted to use the word, in Iraq.
Seems the Time Being isn't the ferocious killing machine we might have thought it was! Actually it's quite placid and non-threatening, sort of like an Irish forward pack. Emelia immediately wants it's head for her office wall, Martin wants to preserve it for study, Bones and Sawyer want blood and mayhem, and Daisy needs to contact her sisters to work out how to deal with the current situation. Oh and the time beast can travel in time by replacing a creature in another era with itself, which is how Martin ends up playing chess with Darwin on an Island fill of Dodos. Just to muddy the waters further a group of fanatics lead by "the Dark One" are also in pursuit of all things time beast orientated.
So Breach and Wood have themselves a graphic novel going down, said novel being released in easy digestible chunks, which has the added bonus of being relatively cheap to dial into on a per Issue basis. Thus far we have had three Issues with a fourth promised for the near future, assuming Breach hasn't lost her muse behind the sofa and Wood is keeping the pencils sharpened and the ink flowing. That's the setting folks and we're here looking at Issue 2, a middle of the saga release that kind of put me in mind of that second Star Wars flick from the first trilogy. Not in terms of content, The Time Being is a lot more fun than Luke "use the force" Skywalker and crew, but more in terms of the individual comic definitely being a bridge in the saga between the first Issue and the next. If you haven't read the first Issue and are not planning on continuing the book, then this Issue is probably not of great merit as a stand-alone read. Of course for those of us who are only too happy to rock on with the saga it's on the required reading list.
There's enough happening script wise between the covers to keep the constant reader happy with developments and anyone who picks up the comic to browse intrigued enough to perhaps want to read up on how the current situation came about. We have the introduction of new characters, who I'm picking are the antagonists of the book, the titular beast being somewhat less of a blood drenched creation than we initially thought, and the continued ability of Bones and Sawyer to completely miss the point. We also get Daisy's three sisters, it's always about the number three in the dark genre yo, interpreted by Wood in curvaceous style even though they are skeletons. Freud would probably have a lot to say about Trev Wood. Insert your own joke about super models being all skin and bones, no honest, that one is way too easy a target. Anyways I'm just trying to point out here that Jen Breach has her script on and is rocking the saga in some surprising new directions as she lays down a twist in the tale to rival Dallas' demise in that Alien movie we like to rabbit on about from time to time.
Breach has this nice dark genre fusion thing going down that recalls previous dark genre outings, pretty much confirming to a sort of horror Jungian archetype. Martin wants to save the time beast for study while Emelia wants it's head stuffed and on her study wall. The concept fermented during the 1950s when the Scientists all wanted to save, insert creature name, for study while the invariable military presence wanted to blast it into it's constituent atoms. Of course in Aliens we had the reverse happening with Ripley wanting to destroy them all and the Corporation wanting to bring them back for study and development of a biotech weapon. But you get the idea, the infinite debate on whether or not study should outweigh the possible inherent dangers. Of course this won't influence your enjoyment of the comic, but just thought I would point out there's a bit of depth in amongst the shallows as Breach and Wood reached for something slightly more demanding than the next one liner. Hope you took notes, spot quiz at the end of the review.
Trev Wood, who makes drawing look so effortless that you or I might give it a shot and fall flat on our arses, is once again on form behind the panels. The comic is as expected full colour with each panel rendered to perfection. If you aren't smiling be the end of this book then you might already have had a date with Daisy. Just saying, Wood's work never ceases to put me in a good frame of mind, it's colourful, fun, and rocks on without being overtly serious. Reminds me of all those comics I used to get as a kid from the far flung reaches of fabled New York. Trev Wood has this Hannah Barbara thing going down that works in the context of rom-com, it definitely wouldn't lend itself to darker outings.
Wrapping it up here, I had a lot of fun with The Time Being Issue 2 and have pushed the sourcing of Issue 3 onto our high alert category. Breach and Wood once again pull off that most difficult of dark genre outings, the horror/comedy hybrid. If you haven't checked the comic out yet then I would suggest remedying that post haste, you won't regret it.
The Time Being series is available from Blackboox for $7 an issue plus P&H. Pretty cheap for a full coloured comic. If you do a google, sorry not connected to the web at the moment, there's an official site for the franchise that does have a web comic happening for those saving their pennies for whatever, (otherwise known as cheap bastards around here).
The only question remaining is where the hell did Bones and Sawyer get the popcorn?