Ivar, Timewalker #1-4
From the dawn of the dinosaurs...to the Battle of Trafalgar...to the end of time itself...the first century-spanning adventure of IVAR, TIMEWALKER starts here!
At this very moment in Geneva, Switzerland, history is being made. A thousand meters underground inside the Large Hadron Collider, researcher Neela Sethi is about to discover time travel - and jeopardize her life in the process. But she doesn't know that yet. Ten minutes from now, every deadbeat chrononaut, wannabe conqueror, and misguided protector of the timestream will be banging down her door. Good thing that the legendary Ivar, Timewalker, got there first... right? Now it's down to history's most jaded, most tempestuous time traveler to stop the worst of everything that is, was, and will be... before time runs out!
Ivar, Timewalker volume 1 (issues #1-4) is a comic unlike anything you will find, not just at Valiant, but in all of comics. Originality meets hilarious sci-fi filled action in a story that questions not just time itself, but also your very own place in history!
We kick off this rather whimsical story just on the verge of a breakthrough from Neela Sethi as she is about to discover the ever elusive method of time travel. This is where Ivar suddenly shows up and whisks Neela away on a time-jumping adventure that unravels like a love-torn mystery with antics that you just can’t see coming. Time travel is a tricky issue especially in comics, the logic behind it is awfully convoluted in many stories and it seems Ivar, Timewalker understands this confusion all too well. The meta jokes making fun of the “rules” we have come to believe about time travel frames the story with a wonderful sense of irreverence that punctuates the more dramatic developments as the story continues.
While this comic came out before the popular Rick and Morty series, some of the antics found in this story feel like something that can be pulled right out of the crazy sci-fi animated show. The explanation as to why you can’t just kill Hitler is funny, but it is also smart in how it establishes the series’ own rules on jumping through time. Time eventuality works in a strange way in this series, where time always finds a way to allow events not to contradict reality’s existence. But that isn’t the only twist, because there is also a more open-ended vision of what happens when you travel through time to meet your past or even future self. It’s not often that you find a story populated with multiple versions of the same core characters, but it pushes the story into unpredictable territory and really brings out the element of surprise. Volume 1 might only be four issues long, but each new issue brings a twist that you just won’t see coming, making it a truly entertaining experience.
The pacing is really the highlight of a story like this, and that isn’t just on the strength of Van Lente’s script work. Henry, Reber and Sharpe all come together for a page turning sci-fi story that keeps you hooked from the very start. It’s a great premise for sure, but that can only get you so far. Ivar, Timewalker volume 1 packs plenty of remarkable time travelling visuals from the Spanish ships at war on the open seas to the many different time travelers attempting to take out Hitler. It’s a spectacle and it has the artwork to back it up, but it also doesn’t get lost in the convoluted details of the story. The artwork helps to keep the focus on the character drive narrative between Neela and Ivar as well as what their relationship means from a greater perspective. Neela is a character you can instantly fall in love with and root for thanks to her humor, vulnerability and steadfast strength. As funny and clever as a Ivar is, I found myself gravitating towards Neela much more as both she and readers begin to sort through the mess that fell into her lap just before discovering time travel. Her reactions, expressions and struggles in this confusing situation are so relatable, and that’s a sign of how capable everyone in this creative team is.
While Neela is such a likable character, the first volume’s main downfall is really the lack of development for who is meant to be the main character, Ivar. He’s mysterious and has a sense of humor as well as penchant for chaos, but that’s really all we get. His intentions are limited by his ties to Neela so we simply can’t learn much about him as an individual without spoiling the story at hand. Still, it would have been nice to find more of a core sense of identity with Ivar because the first four issue just don’t substantiate him enough as a lead character.
Ivar, Timewalker finds plenty of heart with the conflict playing out between Neela and Ivar though. There is plenty of humor that occurs in unexpected ways like “LET’S NOT KILL HITLER!”, but there is also tragedy, discovery, disappointment, and the hope for something greater that all help to give the series a sense of uniqueness. The result is an approach that makes the character motivations much more heartfelt and dynamic. The cliffhanger ending capitalizes on this heart in a really exciting way by bringing together the apparently dark and twisted future vision of Neela with our main version of her, setting up a thrilling second volume.
Not only is this a great series for new readers looking to jump into the Valiant Universe ,it also has quite a few exciting easter eggs for longtime fans as well. The panel with Rai in 4001 is sure to make any Valiant fan cheer. But you don’t need to read dozens of comics to enjoy this series, you can jump right in! If you are looking for an incredibly fun sci-fi adventure comic that crosses through time, look no further. Ivar, Timewalker #1-4 is the story for you!
Originality meets hilarious sci-fi filled action in a story that questions not just time itself, but also your very own place in history! There is plenty of humor, but there is also tragedy, discovery, disappointment, and the hope for something greater that all help to give Ivar, Timewalker #1-4 a sense of uniqueness.
Ivar, Timewalker #1-4: Come with Me if You Want to Make History
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10