Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Matt Kindt
Art & Cover by Scott Kolins
Coloured by Bill Crabtree
Castaways from the far-off future, the deep-time exploration team of Art, Phil, Ursula, Margaret, and Herb have spent a depressing, hopeless year trapped in the primitive twenty-first century. Suddenly, a strange dinosaur-like creature emerges from a time tear in Greece, and this first hint of a possible way home inspires Art to reassemble the team. No sooner have they regrouped than a much more intimidating presence emerges from outside the timestream to devastate Chicago and crush the team’s quadcopter—with them inside!
I’m really enjoying seeing this dysfunctional team in action for the first time. With no real background information on them prior to what we’ve seen thus far and knowing that they’ve spent a lot time apart from one another they aren’t much into teamwork right now. Too many chiefs and not enough indians if you will can make for interesting reading. Margaret the muscled bound brute that she is has her own ideas and independence about her that she’s willing to really just jump into the fray headfirst which seems to help settle her down making for that unique look into her personality since she’s much more action oriented and less of thinker.
There’s a complexity to her that’s amazing to see and when we do get this more in depth look at her before she became one of the Kinghts Order was somewhat remarkable. While yes this is the future it’s remarkably archaic at the same time seeing her trials and what it took for her to become one of those Knights. Sixty days stranded on a moon to test her survival skills, cunning and ferocity when dealing with the creature she was stranded with. There’s a part that’s really barbaric and you’d think they wouldn’t need to do all that but it really does explain a lot about how she behaves.
Now that the team is inside this robot we learn it’s as much biological as it is mechanical and the things defense mechanisms are inspired. It’s time for a closer look at Phil here and why he and Arthur have such bad blood between them. I will say I was more than a little surprised at the turn of events that Matt revealed. I think the way that he’s decided to tell this story and reveal their personalities is a real standout here mainly because it’s so very much outside the box of the norm. That Matt is willing to take this kind of “risk” in his storytelling is one of the reasons we flock to the books he writes. For him each project is different and unique and he’s able to keep it that way because of the way he utilizes different ways of writing.
I like the way this story unfolded and how they were able to stop the robot and that Herb has a greater role to play in the future with everything he learned from dealing with it. These people are a team by circumstance and barely like each other and god forbid they are nowhere near a family so this is really a different kind of book.
Now this wouldn’t be nearly as successful without Scott’s interiors. I’ve been a fan of his and his work on the Rogues is among some of favorite of his but this one is more streamlined, detailed and utterly expressive showcasing his ever growing evolution as an artist. He keeps this book as fresh and different from his past work as Matt does in the writing and the result is phenomenal.
Dark Horse really has gone and jumped into the deep end with projects that stand out from the crowd and have kind of gone back to what they were in the beginning and that’s groundbreaking, different and innovate.