Fed up with Ivar’s lies and deflected questions, Neela has kicked the Timewalker to the curb and strut out on her own through time. With both Ivar and future-cyborg Neela in apparent need of her, which one will reach her first? How will the series end its first story arc and is it good?
Ivar, Timewalker #4 (Valiant Comics)
This issue focuses entirely on Neela’s attempt to save her father from dying. This issue doesn’t have the pizzazz of traveling through time and space we’ve grown accustomed to, but it’s necessary because it provides a lot of information about Neela’s past. Traveling back to 2001, Neela trades in her Nazi getup for cash as she makes her way to the hospital her dad “will eventually” pass away in. The next ten pages after this chronicle her attempts to stop a nurse from giving her father anesthetic, causing him to die. Van Lente does an entertaining job creating various barriers and hurdles Neela must overcome, but the storyline does have its faults.
Just like any time travel plot, I accept that there will always be loopholes that can’t all be covered. However there were some blaringly questionable events that took place. For example: Before attempting to save her dad, Neela is confronted by multiple versions of herself, all of which failed to save her father. According to this time-travel spectrum, there shouldn’t have been multiple Neelas all in the same bar considering while she went through each stage she never visited the bar, therefore even if she went back to that moment after it was all said and done, all but one of those copies wouldn’t have been there. Also the bartender isn’t fazed by multiple versions of the same person drinking all his alcohol.
This issue does provide some entertainment and a respectable attempt at the complexities of time travel. It also includes some accurate depictions of a 2001 lifestyle (I loved the Shaggy reference). The ending does pose an intriguing direction for the storyline as Neela meets future Neela with the proposal to break time and space all in the name of saving her father. This will definitely play into the big changes coming in May.
Speaking of the next arc, May 27th is when the fifth issue of Ivar will hit shelves and Valiant announced that it will be a great opportunity for new readers featuring a new dynamic for the storyline. While I find it hard to believe new readers will easily be able to hop on board, I am excited to see where they take it. From what I’ve heard the new arc, Breaking History, will focus more on Ivar and the assembly of a Time Traveling Team (someone call up Marty McFly).
Is It Good?
This issue definitely isn’t as flashy as the previous issues have been. While it is considered the finale to the series’ first story arc, it serves more as a stepping stone into the next arc that promises a new look and a great jumping on point. This issue provides plenty of necessary context as far as rules to time travel and Neela’s personal history, but doesn’t have the fireworks of a finale.