After making time travel his life’s work and televising the first steps through time for the whole world to see, a brilliant and charismatic scientist along with his equally brilliant best friend have second thoughts when on mission deciding they have nothing real to go home to, so crisscross through time becoming kings, leaders and innovators in many time periods at once, throwing ultimate chrono-caution to the wind.
Hey, we’re reviewing another one of Mark Millar’s Millarworld comic mini-series again, a bi-monthly tradition here at Fanboy Confidential, it would seem.
Adding to his ever-expanding takes on various subgenres, this time he tries his hand at time-travel-action-buddy-comedy, in his latest series, Chrononauts. And which superstar artist has he added to his list of vastly talented bezzies? None other than quasi-free-spirit-uber-artist of the moment, Sean Murphy.
Sean Murphy kicked our collective arses with his creator owned, auteur project, Punk Rock Jesus (read review for more details), and having worked with industry giants, Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder, on yet more creator owned projects, the exceedingly in-demand artist would have been a fool not to jump onboard with the multi-media darling, Millar, if for no other reason than to fill his coffers with that sweet movie option cheese that Millar commands for pretty much every piece of paper his pen touches.
Cynicism aside, the inclusion of Murphy alone makes this series near-unmissable, his remarkable style and energy jumping right off the page in a manner that is both recognisable yet contrarily singular. Solidly cartoony character design combined with detailed and graphical backdrops impress as much as his frenetic storytelling, but where he trumps every other comic artist on the American scene is in his flawless vehicular renderings, which are actually astounding. Add to all this an inking style as expressive as that of Bill Sienkiewicz and you’re left with something that’s pretty damn special.
Certainly more special than the writing, which fits comfortably into Millar’s line of very entertaining books over his more shocking or touching outings, though in all fairness, unlike The Secret Service this doesn’t seem like he’s over-egging the pudding in his quest to make it ‘Millar-like’, he just seems to be having fun telling a story that knows it’s not entirely consequential.
As with most time travel stories, the time travel theory is only thought out so far as to tell an interesting tale, the rest is just character and dialogue of Millar’s more whimsical variety.
Though not reaching the heights of storytelling quality enjoyed by the original Kick-Ass or more recently, Starlight, Chrononauts can still stand proudly next to such Millarword fare as Superior and Super Crooks. More notable for its fantastic artwork over the narrative, it is nonetheless a fun and brisk read.