Time travel is about as overdone these days as a baked Alaskan hit by a flamethrower. Marvel and DC are constantly jumping through time to tell “different” stories, Dr. Who is as popular as ever and Image Comics might as well be called Science Fiction and Time Travel Press.
So when I found out there was a new time travel story coming from IDW this week I scoffed; then I heard it had something to do with the inequality of same sex couples… alright, fine — now I have to read it, but is it good?
Infinite Loop #1 (IDW Publishing)
The story opens on Teddy as she explains what she does and what an infinite loop is, but not to the audience but rather she’s explaining these things due to protocol to ensure her brain functions are unaltered from time travel. She works for an agency that ensures time “anomalies” are corrected before they mess up the timestream. She may be in a Nevada desert in 1964, but with a floating phonogram, Roman helmet and… a lightsaber? Okay that last bit must be just for fun, but it’s all there, showing how things pop up and mess with time. The story then quickly shifts gears, gives us a fun flow chart to help us decide what Teddy should do — it shows how time travel has options, but they may not lead anywhere but the same place. So, right out of the gate we have ourselves a fun adventure with a different way of storytelling.
So quiet you can hear her breathing.
This was originally funded on a site similar to Kickstarter called Ulule which you can read about here. Pierrick Colinet writes a strong script here with great characterization and a well paced story. It keeps you on your toes and frankly the time travel isn’t as important as the dialogue and characters. That’s a good thing for reasons I explained in the introduction. Teddy’s relationship with her male colleague Ulysses is used to ask some questions about society and the purpose of love and how it’s been used to hurt, kill and maim others. Teddy drives a compelling argument by saying humanity has barely changed over the millennia. This is leveraged into a more personal question of love between Ulysses and Teddy. Colinet never gets into the same sex relationship aspect, but the final page alludes to it and it’s compelling.
Lightsabers are real!
This makes the book sound very serious, but it’s actually a much lighter read than its big ideas let on. The narrative is well paced, fun elements are used to tell the story and the characters are easy to root for. By issue’s end you’ll find yourself thinking about love, sex and its purpose in human actions all while enjoying the characters.
The art by Elsa Charretier serves the lighter elements of the story very well. It has a cell shaded line look, but it’s not too cartoony. Charretier draws Teddy in a Rosie the Riveter kind of way with a full face and plenty of bravery. The best part of the art however is the fantastic layouts, which change from page to page to tell the story in a fun way. One page for instance, goes into an Escher sort of up is down page design as Teddy races Ulysses through time. It’s a very fun and visual way to show something potentially too complicated to even think about.
Nice Star Trek touch!
Is It Good?
What is love if it’s a weapon, what is identity if it’s a lie and what is this comic if not fantastic?