Reviewed by Tyrone Burns.
Think Back to the Future with Bill and Ted having a baby, then that baby gets reported to police because its on steroids. That’s Chrononauts!
Have I got your attention?
If it isn’t clear, Chrononauts is a blast. Just sit back, open the pages up and switch off that part of your brain that acknowledges what could and couldn’t happen if this was in real life. Chrononauts is for the reader that wants fun and action over realism.
Lately, I’ve not been able to finish a comic book volume in one sitting, but Chrononauts demanded it. It keeps a smile on your face from beginning to end and for myself that makes it a must read.
Let’s talk more about the story.
Two best friends:-
You can see even early on that these two guys are each other’s world. Its top gun bromance to the max and it’s awesome. The quickness in how each other reacts to make sure the other is ok is commendable (I have to start being a better friend).
Corbin in cooperation with NASA has created a type of satellite that can go back into anytime in the past. With specially designed suits he is able to go back into time himself. When testing his baby out and diving back in time in an attempt to record Christopher Columbus founding of America, he encounters a hitch. Veering off course in time and space its up to Danny to go in an rescue his best friend.
Not everything is as simple as it seems though, and what follows is a crazy roller coaster ride that jumps through time to monumental moments in history.
You get the feeling Mark Miller is having a lot of fun when writing this. Compared to his more darker comics in the past, Chrononauts is more of a light, short tale filled with the kind of sensibilities of old. Where a lot of comics today are heavily based around politics and proper science, Mark Miller embraces comics of yester-year with fun/action made first priority.
What would you do if you could travel through time and space? Would you stick with the ‘prime directive’ and change as little as possible?
Chrononauts plays with the reader’s keen eye as we get to witness along with Corbin and Danny some pretty significant moments in time. At one point they have a rather humorous encounter when witnessing the birth of Christ.
It’s in these great moments that the art shines. If the art wasn’t on point with some of these time periods encountered, then the excitement would of been lost.
After a stressful day it’s nice to sit down and read something that just takes your mind off things. Plus after reading I guarantee you will feel better for it.
Also known as:
Stephen Vincent Strange
Strange Tales #110 (1963)
One of the most powerful sorcerers in existence.
The list of Strange’s magical influences include energy projection and manipulation, matter transformation, animation of inanimate objects, teleportation, illusion-casting, mesmerism, thought projection, astral projection, dimensional travel, time travel and mental possession.
He is constantly learning new powers, thus the full list of what he is capable of is unknown.
Baron Mordo – expert of black magic and mystic arts. Can summon demons. Often classed as the biggest rival and arch nemesis of Doctor Strange.
Dormammu – Ruler of the Dark Dimension. Immensely powerful. Conquerer of universes.
Mephesto – Emperor of Hell, an immortal extremely powerful demonic entity.
Nightmare – King of the Dream Dimension, nigh-omnipotent, nigh-omniscient and nigh-omnipresent, tormentor of anyone who dreams.
The Hood – can go invisible, has limited levitation abilities. Corruption and power has overtaken his mind.
1972- Helped form The Defenders
Stephen Strange was born in 1930. He was the eldest child of Eugene and Beverly Strange. At age eight, Strange was attacked by demons working for apprentice sorcerer, Karl Mordo, only to be rescued by Mordo’s mentor, the Ancient One, protector of Earth with the title the Sorcerer Supreme. At age eleven Strange, after aiding his injured sister Donna, was inspired to pursue a medical career.
Whilst home on vacation from college for his 19th birthday, Strange and his sister went swimming. While in the water, Donna suffered a cramp and tragically drowned. Unable to save her, Stephen felt a sense of personal failure and guilt for not having the medical prowess to perform a miracle.
After earning his medical degree in record-breaking time and while having a five-year residency at New York hospital, Strange started to become highly arrogant. Near the end of his 5-year residency, his mother Beverly died. Soon after that tragedy Stephen started to become distant. While his wealth and ego grew and before he turned 30, Strange turned into a celebrated neurosurgeon. Two years after his mother passed away, Stephen’s father Eugene became severely ill. In fear of dealing with another family members death, Stephen never visited his father’s death bed. This infuriated Victor (Stephen’s brother), and while leaving Stephen’s apartment one night in a fit of anger, he rushed out on to the road and was accidentally hit by an oncoming car. Blaming himself, Strange put Victor’s body in frozen storage hoping that the future would hold an answer to revive the dead.
In 1963 when Strange was 33 years old, he was involved in a car accident that caused major damage to the nerves in his hands. Thus his surgical career came to an end. Stephen’s ego would not allow him to accept any positions as a consultant or assistant, so Strange desperate as he was, sought out and pursued all possible treatments for a potential cure for his hands. In time his fortune dissipated and he became a shadow of his former self.
Soon however, Strange began hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One and with his last bit of money he bought a ticket to the East where he found the Ancient One’s Tibetan palace. While asking the Ancient One to fix his hands, to which he refused, an attack was brought upon the sorcerer. It was soon after that, Strange learned that the Ancient One was Earth’s magical and mystical defender and that the head of the attack came from none other than the sorcerer’s pupil Mordo. For the first time in years Strange acted unselfishly and tried to warn the Ancient One, but Mordo mystically prevented Strange from doing this. For the sake of the world, Stephen made a vow to learn the ways of magic himself and counter Mordo and his ilk. Becoming a disciple of the Ancient One he spent years being instructed in the art of sorcery, learning how to tap the innate mystic powers of both himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the power of awesome entities or principalities, who resided in their own realms, most notably the three benign beings known as the Vishanti. Some years after Strange became a student, Mordo left to seek greater power and in the future he would often clash with Strange in an attempt to prove he is the greater disciple.
Thus over the course of his comic history, Stephen Strange would go on to learn the great powers of the universe while battling entities from other realms.
Written by Tyrone Burns
Planetes Volume 1
Holy Smackaronies! I just could not put this book down. While in Greenlight Comics I remember picking this book up and reading the synopsis, right below that there are some high praise quotes from well respected websites and people including Archie vs Predator! writer Alex De Campi who said Planetes is “My favourite sci-fi comics series of all time”. It was then I thought to myself “well this book should be worth a read” and thank goodness I picked it up. It wasn’t just worth the read, it is now my top read so far this year!
“I respect the selfish dreamers. Without them, space would still be a mystery.”
That is a line from about half way in this epic manga series written and drawn by Makoto Yukimura and it really sets up the tone of Volume 1’s story. Each chapter beautifully opens with a few full colour pages; It just blows my mind this book was written and drawn by the same person. So much talent and thankfully it is all on show on every page.
The journey within is set over the course of 3 years and though based around a team of Astronauts, the story mainly focuses on Hachiroto (Hachi) and his quest/obsession to own his own spaceship. The rest of the team include Yuri: A wise man with a tragic past. He is sort of the ‘Grown up of the group’. Fee: The comedy of the crew. If she isn’t piloting the DS-12 (their Garbage Truck Ship) she is smoking… hell sometimes she is doing both. Tanabe: The heart of the Bunch. Her importance comes more into play as Volume 1 concludes.
I said to a friend that Planetes is like the movie Gravity except with a deeper story and a stronger heart.
The Japanese are geniuses when it comes to putting multiple themes in one story without it losing focus and direction.
There are moments that are funny, silly, terrifying, heartfelt and sad.
I won’t forget the story I read. It touched me and left me with so much to think about.
Why do “the selfish dreamers dream? Why is it when we are living our dream we then dream of home?
Those are just some of the questions the book asks and I am so thrilled there is more to the story than shown thus far.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi or human exploration and contemplation you need to read Planetes.
This is now my favourite read this year and it is gonna have to take something mighty good to knock this off my number 1 spot.