Review: Time Warp #1

$7.99 is a pretty steep price for 80 pages, no? In my reading history, an anthology is either all or nothing, especially as far as DC is concerned.  I detest shilling out good money for a book where only two stories are worth reading (or even a re-read) where I could have purchased two. Have no fear, the fine folks at Vertigo are back to regale us with their tales.

Okay, sure, so I probably bought this title based on Damon Lindelof’s name being on the cover. He of Lost fame can do no wrong. Time-travel aficionado Rip Hunter appears in “R.I.P.” with art by Jeff Lemire, reminiscing and retreating in the last few moments of his life. It’s got that “stuck-in-a-time-loop” feel to it that keeps you wondering how he’s ever going to escape. Of course, you never can escape from your future.

Time WarpAlso thrown on the cover was Gail Simone. Having never read Ms. Simone, I was delighted by my first foray of love and death-on-repeat in this saccharine tale. The child-like story and spot-on art by Gael Bertrand really reflect the intensity of this yarn. Makes you wonder what you really want out of lifein “I Have What You Need.”

With another spectacularly well done job was the newcomer Tom King. I’ve heard about this gentleman  from his superhero novel  A Once Crowded Sky, but he really puts the screws to a special guest villain in as little as eight pages. “It’s Full of Demons” is a creepy tale with something hinky happening during your first read-through, but once you get the hook, you’ve got to go at it again. Immediately. Though plenty of color, dark art by Tom Fowler really sets the mood.

Dan Abnett and Inj Culbard explore the morality of time travel in “The Principle” with those that clean up after folks that want to alter history. Peter Milligan and M.K. Perker bring back the dead to remember them by, no matter what the cost in “She’s Not There.” And though goofy, Simon Spurrier’s “The Grudge”  gets a giggle following the immature antics of a couple of scientists. Even the two war pieces presented by Fawkes and Kindt strike up a sad chord concerning our affairs in the Middle East.

The biggest drawback of the entire issue is the appearance of the Dead Boy Detectives. Originally cooked up by Neil Gaiman, the boys have had a following since their first appearing in issue #25 of The Sandman. Other than not knowing who these two were and the story feeling out of place in a science fiction-themed mag, theirs was the second installment of a longer story started in a previous Vertigo anthology Ghosts. Cheap trick, if you ask me.

I’ve had this issue sitting on my nightstand for the last two months or so and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve read it through half-a-dozen times. A bit of a steep price, but this is eight bucks to the good. Though most of these folks have had their hand in many things bigger than a couple-page story, they’ve still got the chops to reel it in and make you think.