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The Traveler #1

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By: Ray Tate

Mark Waid & Stan Lee
Chad Hardin, Blond (c)
BOOM! Studios
Time traveling Split-Second Men invade the city and wreak havoc on the populace. Fortunately, a hero rises to stop them. He is a Traveler, but unlike his quarry, he cannot travel in time.

This is an outstanding debut. The hero, dubbed Kronus by those he rescued, manipulates time. He can speed it up or slow it down. He also can see the probabilities of the future. Stan Lee's and Mark Waid's concept for a new hero is a clever, novel one.

Kronus is no lightweight generic character either. When Kronus talks, he instills confidence. Waid cares about every word the character speaks. He knows the wrong words send the wrong message and the pattern of words creates attitude.

Waid builds mechanisms around Kronus' powers. For example, Kronus can strike harder than a normal person because he increases the time component in the formula for velocity, almost like a backward Flash.

As a result of the characterization and Kronus' powers, the plot moves quickly. There's no time for dark reflections. We simply watch how rapidly Kronus moves to put down the Split-Second Men and interact with their intended victims.

Kronus' victories, his competence as a superhero and his overall optimism contrast the horror of the finale. Something bad happens, and given the dialogue, it literally shouldn't have happened. How does this twist play into the Traveler's further adventures? Only time will tell.

Thanks to Chad Hardin and colorist Blond, the Traveler cuts a striking figure. His costume is both attractive and functional. Hardin and Blond illustrate the entirety of the comic book with a sense of artistic storytelling, and the bare bones of the art (the scale, the proportion, the design of the panels, the full backgrounds) exhibit professionalism and old school style.



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