The Ninjabot

Review: Ivar, Timewalker #1

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm by Tyler Waterman

IVAR_001_COVER-A_ALLEN1

Review: Ivar, Timewalker #1

Written By: Fred Van Lente
Art By: Clayton Henry
Colors By: Brian Reber
Letters By: Dave Sharpe

Review By: Tyler Waterman

Before I begin this review, I have to make sure something is perfectly clear: I’m incredibly sick of time travel. As far as plot devices go, there are few things I’m less interested in. It’s most likely a side effect from a lifetime of reading X-Men titles, but as soon as I see a story headed in that direction, I start to turn the opposite way.

However, let me tell you something I love: Anni-Padda brothers. From Armstrong’s vices to Gilad’s conviction, I love everything about them, and Ivar intrigues me most of all. Of all the Anni-Paddas, he’s the one who’s least often seen, and who we know the least about, which can’t help but pique your curiosity. That’s why the announcement of Ivar, Timewalker several months back left me with two reasons to buy in. The first was about finally getting to spend some quality time with Ivar, but the second was the tiniest shred of hope that Ivar could make time travel cool again.

Guess what? He went and did the impossible.

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Oh, you.

More appropriately, I should say that Fred Van Lente is the man who did the impossible, but I don’t have an image of him being cooler than the other side of the pillow. All jokes aside, however, I am legitimately surprised at just how much I loved this book. I haven’t read a book written by Van Lente that I haven’t liked, so it wasn’t a concern there. I just didn’t believe anyone could make me be interested in time travel right now.

However, Van Lente’s approach to the topic is what made all the difference. It feels like every recent story that involved time travel has gone out of its way to explain why this time it’s cooler than all those other, significantly less-cool times. In this case, Van Lente takes a much simpler route: he just makes it fun. He goes out of his way to make sure you understand that the usual annoying rules are out of the way, and while that might seem simple, it’s a real breath of fresh air. Removing the overbearing concern over whether it all “makes sense” allows the reader to simply enjoy the ride. Where the standard time travel story leaves you feeling like time itself is the main character, Ivar, Timewalker erases that burden and makes the characters the stars again.

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The rumors are true; time travel can actually be awesome!

And let me tell you, the characters here absolutely shine. As I’d hoped, Ivar is the perfect mix of aloof and confident, overflowing with swagger, but in no way unlikable. To be fair, however, walking away from this book reaffirming my love for Ivar doesn’t come as a surprise. The real hidden gem in this book is leading lady Doctor Neela Sethi. (I feel like she’d be mad at me if I left out the “doctor.”) She’s smart, she’s witty in that rare not-actually-annoying way, and she eschews the “damsel in distress” trope. It’s a very safe assumption that Neela will be a major factor in the Valiant Universe, and I am perfectly fine with that.

I’ve spent all this time talking about the story because that’s the only part of this book that I had any reservations about going in; I never have reservations about Clayton Henry’s art. Valiant has a monopoly on artists that take facial expressions to another level, and Henry is a perfect example of this. Henry is one of those artists who tells the story so well with his art that you could remove the dialog and still understand what was going on; it’s a rare distinction, and a joy to behold. Combine that with Brian Reber’s vibrant colors and Dave Sharpe’s perfectly complimentary lettering and you’ve got a visual presentation any comic writer would beg to collaborate with.

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Simply stunning!

Do you love time travel? Buy this book. Do you hate time travel? Buy this book, and learn to love it again. I never thought I’d be intrigued by the age-old idea again, but Ivar, Timewalker breaks the mold and puts the fun back in cruising through the timestream. Put on your nicest suit, grab your sense of adventure and take a ride with the Timewalker; trust me, you won’t want to go back in time and stop yourself.

Writing: 10 out of 10
Art: 10 out of 10
Presentation: 10 out of 10

Readability: Accessible to all readers

Overall Score: 10 out of 10

 

Ivar, Timewalker #1 releases January 21st, 2015, and is available digitally through comiXology or in print at a fine comic retailer near you.

Geek Legacy’s comic review system is based on three criteria. Both the writing and art each receive scores on a 1-10 scale. For writing, a 10 is the stuff of legends, while a 1 is legendarily bad. For art, a 10 is almost too beautiful to look at, while a 1 is also hard to look at, but not in a good way. Presentation refers to inks, lettering and layout, and is also graded on a 1-10 scale. Readability reflects how accessible it is to fans both new and old, and is strictly for reader awareness; it does not factor into the final score.

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