EDITOR'S NOTE: Stan Leeís The Traveler #1 will be in stores November 24th.
In This Issue: Meet Kronus, a Traveler from who-knows-where who canít travel through time (but I just said he was a Traveler, didnít I?), although he can manipulate localized time around him. This talent of his allows for some really nifty little tricks that come in handy as he goes up against the Split-Second Men, time travelers from the future who each possesses a different power and have come to the present to wreak havoc. Why? Well, weíre not really sure. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.
The Good: Writer Mark Waid and company donít hold back as they jump right into the action. Itís a nice change of pace to have a first issue of a new series not bogged down by exposition in its opening sequence. The superheroics are cranked all the way up and artist Chad Hardin knows how to render the hell out of an action scene with dynamic angles and explosive sequences.
Waid and Harding make a great team bringing home the action as Kronus battles the first of the Split-Second Men saving a woman named Daniele from certain death. Itís unclear whether or not she was a target of these dangerous time travelers or if it was just a case of her being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Where Waid really shines is how he writes a very complex Kronus. One moment, he can be honest and sincere and the next moment, he throws little sarcastic quips, not to the villains he faces, but to the actual folks heís trying to save. Itís a nice touch that makes for a very unusual lead character.
The Bad: Yes, not everything has to be spelled out in the first issue, but thatís as much a positive as it is a negative in this case. Itíd be nice if we were given at least one little clue as to what exactly is going on. Just one little iota of premise would really do wonders for this book which, so far, doesnít really resonate for very long after itís read.
Half of what makes for a good superhero comic is the compelling villain, and in this first issue we get two who arenít very compelling in the least. Sadly, we know absolutely nothing of their personalities or motives. They just appear from out of nowhere and start attacking random citizens for no apparent reason. Whatís even worse is that out of the two villains we get, only one mutters a single line in the whole book, ďI see you.Ē Hell, they donít even grunt or yelp in pain when they get hurt. Itís a little annoying to say the least.
The Bottom Line: While the book shows promise with great action, snappy dialogue, and amazing art, The Traveler needs to offer a little bit more if it plans to stand out amongst an already over-flooded superhero market.
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