Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Steven Grant
Illustrated by Paul Gulacy
Coloured by Jesus Aburto
Lettered by Nate Piekos
I love first issues, and from something i’ve never heard of before, apparently the Rook dates back to 1976 yes I had to look it up. There’s a reason Time Travel holds such a sway over us and H.G. Well’s is a major influence and contributor to that. Any time you associate the Victorian Era and Time Travel you can’t help but think of Wells it’s that perfect moment in time kind of thing. So sit back relax and just lose yourself in this character and his adventures because it’s so well done.
So for me this is an introductory issue and for that it’s wonderfully done. There’s this whole thing where we kind open by jumping into the middle of things and as it plays out who and what is happening becomes a little more clear. The characterization is extremely well done and from the get go Steven manages to get you interested in both the hero and villains quite nicely. As the story continues you become more intrigued by what’s happening here.
When we meet Restin Dane the story takes on a different tone and feel. He’s at school working on his Doctoral Thesis revolving around a working time machine. Turns out his great-whatever-grandfather wrote about them in the Victorian Era alongside H.G. Wells has made him obsessed with the idea of making the idea a reality. His friend Suze wants him to have fun and get out and enjoy a party and the conversation they have is delightful. It really does wonders to set up further events and help you begin to piece a few things together.
As all stories tend to have there’s a major disturbance that sends the characters into freefall. It also serves to change or continue our time traveling heroes adventures from a brand new perspective. It’s kind of like all things happen for a reason and for what we see in the beginning to occur the middle of the issue needs to unfold this way. Time loop possibly, destiny maybe or perhaps it’s just this is how it was and always will be a continual loop of beginning and ending with varying degrees of what happens in the middle.
Paul’s interiors here leave with mixed emotions. Part of me thinks hmm there are clearly moments where the people look amazing and strong and defined. Then there are times when it seems rushed or sloppy as if the proportions don’t quite fit. The nurse’s face for one sticks out to me in that regard it doesn’t seem like it fits. Then there’s his imagination on full display depicting the villains we see here. Creepy and dangerous ooze from them while Dale has this sense of inner strength and confidence to him even when he’s in trouble. Then there’s that pinup from the Last Days of the World homage that’s utterly amazing.
There’s this really nice blend of old school and new here to this story that has the best of both incorporated. With all the focus right now on Back to the Future we wouldn’t even have that story if it weren’t influenced by the same source as this more classic tale.