Travel through time with the ‘Chrononauts'

In the world of comics, it’s very rare that top-tier writers and artists come together to create an entirely new series. But this type of collaboration is exactly how the new comic book series, “Chrononauts,” was formed. On the surface, “Chrononauts” is just a story of humanity’s first attempt at time travel, but like most of Mark Millar’s previous books, there’s so much more.

Millar, legendary comic writer, has produced many famous comics, such as “Kick-Ass,” “The Secret Service” (or Kingsman) and Marvel’s “Civil War” storyline.  His comics have shaped the industry and left an ever lasting impact, the aforementioned titles are all the subject of current or future movies.  

While “Chrononauts’” artist is a little less world renown, he is nonetheless just as talented. Sean Gordon Murphy was the artist of “Punk Rock Jesus,” “The Wake” and “Joe the Barbarian.”  With an artistic team like this, “Chrononauts” was sure to have some impact on the comic world, but just how good can this new series be?

The first issue of “Chrononauts” is in one word, interesting. The comic plays with the idea of time travel, but rather than making the book’s two leading men time-cops or something juvenile, these characters are given actual depth. 

The two leads: Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly are both fun-loving guys who just happened to be scientists.  Both leads are quite entertaining and share plenty of good back-and-forth dialogue.  However, it’s clear comedy isn’t the writer’s focus and as the reader dives into the men’s lives and discovers unexpected and compelling depth.  

Corbin is a man who gave too much to his work and not enough to his family and friends, especially his father and now ex-wife.  While Danny is a man who’s fun spirit and carefree attitude has him heavily playing on the “player” troupe normally seen in fiction, and some how it feels as if there is something more just waiting to be revealed.  

Despite the two marvelous characters, there is one clear problem within “Chrononauts’” first issue.  There is far too much going in the 40-some-odd pages provided in the comic.  The writer drags the reader through multiple cities and over a year and half of events.  

It’s a book that suffers from too much set up; the reader is first introduced to some mystical element that shows the possibility of time travel and then the very next page shows the two leads actually creating time travel itself.  There isn’t enough focus on the interesting characters themselves.  This one error drastically takes away from the overall impact that the ending could truly have.

Luckily there is something that can always save a story gone awry; Murphy’s art is as beautiful as ever.  His exceptional style brings these characters to life and gives the reader some amazing eye candy.  This art alone should be reason enough to check out this book.  Each of the characters are crafted with such care one can see just how realized they are.  If Murphy’s work is unfamiliar to the reader, this is a great place to admire his beautiful talent.

While “Chrononauts’” is plagued with pacing problems, there manages to be some real promise for the issues ahead as time is sure to slow down and allow for actual development.  The series is bound to be enjoyable and fun, while dealing with some real human issues of loss and love. “Chrononauts” is recommended to any comic book fan that wants more than just a traditional superhero beat-em-up book.