When it comes to penultimate issues things can get a little messy. So often we’re privy to a story that’s all about setting up a crazy climactic end, leaving us with crumbs of entertainment and the rest just being setup. Mark Millar’s latest series is at that penultimate issue, as #4 marks the end of the series. Is it good?
Chrononauts #3 (Image Comics)
In a lot of ways this series is really just a quick pitch for a movie. I say this because it’s never trying to do too much with the characters but instead set up the premise and take us on a little ride. It’s easy to imagine this series as a summer blockbuster because it’s so darn fun. Really the only weakness is that the characters are thin and where there is character it’s not very likable. Chrononauts is all about two buddies named Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly who also happen to be scientific geniuses. They invented time travel jump suits and made the first leap for mankind. Unfortunately Corbin decides to go rogue and enjoy his newfound technology by living it up in the past. Danny follows him but is quickly convinced living like gods is the best way to go. Last issue ended with the reveal that the scientists who were monitoring them when they jumped are sending a squad of gun-wielding time travellers to stop their toying with the timestream.
What a dick!
In my review of issue #2 I noted I was interested in how these guys aren’t messing up history as we know it. They’ve been jumping throughout time, introducing machine guns hundreds of years ago and basically done what any semi-selfish human would with time travel powers: live it up! It has however not changed the future so it’s still possible for this squad to go after them. Unless of course there’s some twist and it’s all reversed in the finale. That said, I’ve come to grips with the fact that Millar has no interest in making these characters complex. This is all about awesome art and action sequences. This issue continues that theme as Corbin and Danny have a car chase whilst jumping through time. It’s a lot of fun, completely bonkers and an exciting sequence to say the least.
It’s also fun to see how they’ve been living it up. For instance, Danny wrote Breaking Bad sometime before 1986, oh and he also “wrote” all of the Beatles songs. I’m not sure how much fun it would be to steal these things and pass them off as their own, but it’s probably something we’ve all considered if we had the ability to time travel.
The only weakness in this issue, again save for the weak characters, is the ending which is very predictable. I won’t ruin it here, but I was thinking it would go this way last issue, especially since it’s a possible way to make these jerk characters heroes by stories end.
The art by Sean Murphy is once again fantastic. He’s one of those artists that just doesn’t do bad work. This issue lets him go bonkers with the car chase sequence as it jumps from one historic event after another, from the 1969 Super Bowl to Rome in 203, to the day JFK was shot. There’s a lot more in there and it all looks fabulous. Really Murphy is a great cinematographer, if you can call him that, as the panels are always jumping around the scenes in interesting ways. The man just tells beautiful stories and it’s very cinematic.
Is It Good?
About as big and bombastic of any comic of the action movie persuasion you’re going to get.