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Ivar, Timewalker #2

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by Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry,

And so begins the second issue of one of the most fun and exciting series to come out of Valiant’s stable since, well, since Archer and Armstrong a book also helmed by Ivar, Timewalker writer Fred Van Lente. While we’re stating to see a similar buddy dynamic in this book as well, the similarities end there, as Ivar and Dr. Neela Sethi are starting to come into their own.

This issue explores the concept of time travel a little more than the previous, further expanding on the groundwork laid in issue one while continuing to throw typical science fiction tropes about the subject out the window. The concept of a butterfly effect is very much a focus of much of this issue but Van Lente has done his homework and imbued Ivar with great science to back up how time travel works. If you’re interested in more, definitely check out Dr. Stephen Hawking’s article on Space and Time Warps which was a huge inspiration for Van Lente, particularly the Chronology Protection Conjecture which serves as a sort of “time travel police” preventing past events from being changed. The article may be a little thick at times, but will definitely give you new insight into this book.

Killing Hitler is a topic that’s been tackled in many stories, but in this issue we see something new – Neela and Ivar are off to NOT kill him. Through the use of the Zelig, a device that can cloak time travelers, the two can blend into pre-World War I Vienna, taking us through a historical adventure of Hitler’s past while exposing us to further time travel concepts. It’s really masterfully done through smart and humorous dialogue which Van Lente is known for. The introduction of a new villain, the Lurker, was a very pleasant surprise and the concept behind the character is really smart. In the future, people have bonded with their social networks and basically turned them into living entities which they can then use to travel through time and showing off their adventures to friends and family.

Ivar, Timewalker #2 is a great book with terrific dialogue and beautiful art. Van Lente has definitely done his research basing many of the concepts in this book on real science and it shows. Definitely pick this up!

Originally from ValiantCentral.com

 

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  • Lee Nicholson

    Nice Review Martin!
    Cover A – I think the Raul Allen cover is just so stunning. You literally get the sense of Ivar walking and jumping through all of time, the colours are wonderful and the use of dark on light really makes this cover stand out.

    I was a big fan of Ivar 1, great character introductions, the book set the scene well and delivered one hell of a cliffhanger.
    I really loved the opening pages, Neela wondering what everyone with time travel ability wonders, could they go back and change the past, maybe prevent a loved one from dying. It brings a great personal touch to Neela that was lacking slightly in issue one and Ivar’s reply is just wonderful, basically telling her she wouldnt be human if she didnt think about that.
    From those first opening pages you just know this is going to be an info dump issue. Van Lente has a great way of over complicating some plots but all of a sudden you find yourself still being able to understand and follow the story with ease.
    Im not too sure if Van Lente was intentionally making Neela and Ivar have a ‘moment’ early on in the book, but the way they looked at each other…. Thats the impression I got??
    Van Lente has a great way of bringing humour and fun into the most unexpected time and places, Ivar’s declaration that they shouldn’t kill Hitler was genious and definately makes you want to read on.
    Then we get one of my favorite pages of the book, Ivar trying to convince Neela to implant herself with the Zelig. The interactions and body language between the two is really good to see, Ivar has a real charm about him, he would make a terrific car salesman. Admittedly the science speak can big the book down a bit, it interrupts the flow and story at times as you are re- reading certain panels to make sure you are taking in and understanding all the phsyco babble that Ivar is spouting. Good job Neela is like the rest of us and wanted it explained again, in a more dumbed down fashion. Now I understand !
    The idea that they somehow arent allowed to change history is interesting, that they will somehow be stopped from tampering. So why the worry about the butterfly effect?? I trust the prevention doesnt always succeed, as insinuated by Ivar. That might explain though why Hitler never did get killed earlier than the date he actually died, the universe conspires to keep him alive.
    Turning to art, there is no doubt that Clayton Henry is a talented artist, but I think having Gill do a few pages mid issue actually exposes Henry’s weaknesses. I much preferred Gill’s World War One panels. The background detail is a lot better and facial features are a lot more defined.
    Overall though this is a fantastic book to look at. Colours are splendid too.
    The conversation in the trenches gave me goosebumps. Ivar insisting that Neela shoot and kill Hitler only for Neela to Hesitate, prompting Ivar to tell Neela he doesnt think she is a monster and he hopes she remembers it….subliminal messaging! Ivar clearly aware of what Future Neela is upto and that does in fact become a monster responsible for death and destruction. Ivar is guiding Neela away from that path.
    The last few pages are conversation heavy which is really good. At one point I felt that Ivar was becoming a talking robot, but by books end he is a lot more engaging and the relationship between the two leads is very convincing and we finally have some genuine chemistry and gone now is the initial awkwardness. Oh and Gilad pops up, always a welcome surprise!

    For me book two is fast, intelligent, lush to look at but story progression at this point is lacking slightly. I do though look forward to issue 3.

    4/5

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