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This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time.

Time travel comics are always interesting. How the writer plays with chronology in the story can make an otherwise A to B story take on an entirely new journey when you start to realize just how much small things can impact each other.

One of my favourite time travel stories is the twelve issue series from Valiant Ivar, Timewalker, released a half decade or so ago. One of the strengths of that story is how time travel is played relatively straight – Ivar’s journey is linear even if it doesn’t happen in linear time.

Similar things can also be said about The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time, only as you’ve probably guessed from the title there’s a lot more humour in this book, and as such a lot of what happens is genuinely funny as the proverbial shit starts really hitting the fan. The book, written by John Layman with art by Karl Mostert and colours by Dee Cunniffe, was published by Aftershock in 2020. I picked up the collected edition second hand from my comic shop this week solely to read for this column and then intended to trade it back, though after finishing the book I’ve shelved it away because it’s the kind of story I know I’ll want to read again.

I’m not going to tell you too much about the plot beyond what is on the blurb on the back:

Sean Bennett is just your everyday, ordinary lab worker in a high-tech lab with a prototype time machine. And, yeah, he’s got the same temptations any of us would have about going back in time, just a bit, to correct mistakes of the past and right old wrongs. So, when he meets a version of himself from the future who encourages him to do just that, Sean takes the temporal plunge. Only…can you guess what happens next? Did you read the book title? Yup. All of TIME is f#%&ed up now, and it’s up to Sean to correct it – or else!

The writing in the book is top notch, but it’s the vibrant and enthusiastic art that really sells the story; Mostert and Cunniffe bring their A game with The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time.

This book is a lot of fun, and will make an excellent diversion on a lazy day sat with your feet up. Plus, who doesn’t like a bit of time travelling goodness?

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

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