When Valiant first burst back into the comics scene a few years ago, they put out a slew of great titles. My favorite of the new Valiant books was Archer and Armstrong. It was smart, funny, and action packed. Basically, it was everything I liked in a comic book. So imagine my joy today when I got to read an advance review copy of Ivar, Timewalker #1, a book rooted deeply in the Archer and Armstrong mythology and created by the same great team. So is the greatness of the former series passed on to Ivar, Timewalker, or does this new series crash and fail? For the most part, I would say we are looking towards a bright future with this book, time travel puns not intended… Well maybe a little attended. Check out our preview here!
I think the biggest strength that Fred Van Lente has in his writing is his dialogue. Even if his characters are total jerks, which Ivar may or may not be, you still want to read more about them because the dialogue is so fun. Its fast, in your face, and most of the time hilarious and really helped what could have otherwise been a very dry exposition dump of a second half. The first half of this issue, though, was pretty much a crazy chase scene through time that really got me excited about the places this series could go. The only limit to the story possibilities here is Lente’s imagination and I don’t think he is going to run out of ideas soon.
Clayton Henry’s art in this issue was pretty excellent as well. It wasn’t revolutionary by any means, but it more than aptly depicted all of the crazy time travel shenanigans on display here. The splash page of Ivar jumping through four of five timelines at the same time was especially jaw dropping.
Honestly, there wasn’t really that much wrong with this issue. If I was to nitpick, then I would say it could have used a bit more story, but I’m more than positive that the next issue will make up for that. I would also have liked to known a little bit more about the characters. If you read Archer and Armstrong, then you already know what Ivar is about, but he is a little bit of a cipher in this issue if you have no prior knowledge of the character. The same goes with his companion. All I know about her is that she likes to say “bro” and freaks out a lot, which is to be expected I guess. Overall, though, these are just minor complaints that I usually have with issue ones period, so its nothing that I really hold against this series in particular.
If you are looking for a fun little time travel romp and Dr. Who isn’t doing it for you, then try Ivar, Timewalker #1. It has some pretty funny dialogue and some great potential. I’m going to keep my eye on this series and you should too.