Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review - Ivar, Timewalker #1


"Seventy-fifth-century antigrav pads. Pretty sweet, huh?"

Being able to time-travel is something that everyone dreams about, but no one really knows how to do it. It's a gift and a curse if it ever is settled, as there are immense benefits and drawbacks to it if achieved. Having someone along for the ride who's been around the time-traveling block a few times is always a good thing. That's where Ivar comes in as the main character of Ivar, Timewalker #1 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Clayton Henry, colored by Brian Reber and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Doctor Neela Sethi is on the verge of something special--she's about to create time travel. That seems like just the groundbreaking discovery a physicist like Dr. Sethi would want, until Ivar, Timewalker shows up and directly influences her decision not to make the discovery. From there, the duo travel through time and space, visiting various locales and taking in the time-sensitive sights. Mix in Prometheans--artificial suicide life from the Fifth dimension--and you've got an adventurous tale that doesn't hold back.

Ivar is a little bit on the arrogant side, briskly moving through stops in history without really thinking twice about his presence there. Van Lente infuses Ivar with the right level of cockiness mixed with self-awareness, knowing when he is and trying to make decisions that fit within the previously established narrative of that point in time. He usually knows the best thing to do in any situation, relying on an innate cunning to see him through it relatively unscathed. Dr. Sethi is the complete opposite, with Van Lente balancing her intelligence with a millenial mindset of sorts. Her interactions with Ivar provide a lot of the happy-go-lucky dynamic between the two, something that's riffing off of Archer and Armstrong.

Henry's illustrations are crisp and clean, leaving out unnecessary details. He works well with Van Lente and the book fits perfectly into the aforementioned Archer and Armstrong universe with an emphasis on action. Henry rather seamlessly blends together the varying time periods, ensuring that each stands on its own yet feels like part of the larger whole. The book has a sheen to it that reflects its more futuristic sensibilities as well. Panels are laid out in largely familiar grids, save for a few pages where there are insets popping here and there for emphasis on the action on the page.

Ivar, Timewalker #1 offers a very intriguing main character paired with someone of a non-believer. The dynamic between the two is amusing and enlightening, propelling the story along with the development of the characters' relationship. Van Lente knows how to craft a fast-paced tale that offers enough to keep the reader interested without giving away too much. Henry's illustrations are familiar to Valiant fans and does the writing justice, portraying a world full of different eras and looks. Ivar, Timewalker #1 is a lot of fun and another strong entry in the Valiant Universe worth checking out.

Ivar, Timewalker #1 is in stores now.

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