Time got away from me this week, so we’re rerunning an older column from yesteryear.
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: Time Before Time vol. 1.
Ever since I first watched Marty McFly try and find his way through the 50’s in Back To The Future, I’ve always enjoyed a good time travel story. There’s something about being able to witness history first hand that has always intrigued me, and I get oddly excited when thinking about the details and implications of how the time travelling actually works in different stories. For example can you change the past, or have your actions already happened eve though you haven’t done anything yet?
Is time a river where you can hop out and in at different points but you are still in the same river and it’s course doesn’t divert regardless of what you do, or does each action that you take that differs from what should have happened create something new?
Time Before Time aligns closer to the former example in the above paragraph. In the year 2140, the criminal gang the Syndicate will smuggle you back in time from a world with very little prospects or future to a time with a better tomorrow (albeit with no Wi-Fi). Tatsuo, one of the Syndicate’s time smugglers has had enough of the grind (and radiation exposure) of constant time jumps.
It’s about this moment when he’s caught up with an FBI agent who throws a bit of a wrench into his escape plan, which obviously works out well for the reader.
The comic wasn’t on my radar at all until I was filing back issues away at my LCS and something about the cover caught my eye. I’d love to say I picked it up and read it at home, but instead I stopped what I was doing and read it there and then, and upon finishing picked up the remaining five issues for cover price. There is a trade also available for those same issues, and while the story doesn’t end with the first volume, I’m writing about it today because it was really enjoyable. Time Before Time is one of those stories that I didn’t expect to find – I’m not going to say I didn’t expect to enjoy it, because I’d heard nothing about the book until I actually read the comic. Maybe my head was in the clouds with this one, but I don’t remember putting it in many pull boxes during the initial run of the individual comics earlier in the year, either. So assuming my shop is typical (which it very well may not be), I figured there’s a chance that the book has been slept on by a fair few people.
Do yourselves a favour, and check it out.
Join us next week where there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.