Rating: 4/5 – A Trip Through Time Improved by Sean Murphy’s Art.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Well it didn’t take long for Chrononauts to be picked up for a possible movie adaption. Just this week it was announced that Universal has optioned the rights to Mark Millar’s latest entry into his MillarWorld line of books. Published by Image Comics, Chrononauts is a pretty straight forward story that becomes something truly special because of the art. Time travel stories have been told before in plenty of different ways, but Sean Murphy’s art makes this book an absolute must read despite the predictable writing.
Sean Murphy is a special kind of talent. His pencils on first glance seem razor thin, then on closer inspection you can see that he also uses blacks and shadows to perfection giving his art weight and dimension. As the story opens, Chrononaut Corbin Quinn investigates a thousands of years old cave inexplicably housing a 1970s fighter jet. The detail is amazing from the picturesque landscape of the deserts of Turkey, to the insides of the cave and the intricacies of the fighter plane. And it only gets better from there! Murphy pours the details into the technology the Chrononauts and their scientific team used to break the barriers of time as well as into the clothing and uniforms that they wear. Murphy’s pencils get better and more beautiful with each and every page culminating in an action sequence that’s wonderfully laid out and perfectly framed.
The writing is where this comic just feels average. I’m a big fan of Millar’s works as he’s given the comics world some truly memorable stories, but so far this one falls a bit flat. Two scientific minds, Dr. Corbin Quinn and Dr. Danny Reilly have come up with a way to travel through time and like the first moon landing, they’re going to televise it. Simple enough idea that presents a ton of possibility, but this is a story we’ve seen before and nothing that Millar has presented so far feels new. Although Corbin Quinn seems to have some depth as the main star of the book, co-star and friend Danny Reilly comes across as a somewhat unlikeable character which may be exactly what Millar’s going for.
Chrononauts is attempting to simplify the complexity of time travel by highlighting the comedic and lighthearted feel of the relationship between the two doctors. In it’s simplicity to appeal to everyone, the story falls a bit flat and into all too familiar territory. It’s not a bad story, it’s just that it doesn’t really present anything new or different. Fortunately though, Sean Murphy more than makes up for it with his magnificent pencils. I’ll be back for next issue because of Murphy and I’m hoping that Millar’s writing provides a future where both the art and the writing are equally as strong.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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