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Marc reviews Image Comics TIME BEFORE TIME #1 calling it “unique” and “unlike anything you have ever read before.” In stores May 12, 2021.



Time Before Time #1 (Image Comics)

Published by Image Comics, Time Before Time #1 is written by Rory McConville and Declan Shalvey. Art is by Joe Palmer with colours by Chris O’Halloran and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Cover art is also by Shalvey.

Grab your copy in print and on digital where all good comics are sold from May 12, 2021. Order your digital copy from Comixology now.


The year is 2140, and to escape a world with no future, many turn to the Syndicate, a criminal organization who, for the right price, will smuggle you back in time to a better life. After working for the Syndicate for years, Tatsuo and Oscar decide to steal one of their boss’s time machines—but soon find that the one thing you can’t run from is your past. TIME BEFORE TIME is a brand-new ongoing series where writer/artist DECLAN SHALVEY (BOG BODIES) joins forces with the WRITE IT IN BLOOD team of RORY McCONVILLE and JOE PALMER. Looper meets SAGA in this extra-sized debut issue


Time Before Time is unlike anything you have ever read before. The premise is unique with an interesting cast of characters at the behest of writers Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville. The book is beautifully pencilled by Joe Palmer and creatively coloured by Chris O’Halloran. The story centres on Tatsuo as he works to escape the clutches of his employer, the mysterious Syndicate, along with wits friend Oscar. That is the basic plot, and one we have all seen before, but what sets this book apart is that Tatsuo is not escaping to a new location, but a new time.

This issue serves to establishes the rules and consequences of time travel, as well as dropping subtle hints as to why the world is in its current state in 2140. One of my favourite parts of this book is following the breadcrumbs of newspaper headlines that read “CROP SHORTAGE…” and “HURRICAINE DEATH TOLL…” from different times locations in the issue.

The dangers of time travel are dire as we learn of Oscar’s fate after a time travel mission goes wrong. This scene allows for Shalvey and McConville to flex their creative muscles, creating a particularly poignant and dramatic moment amongst the humour which really touched this reviewer! The co-writers do it again with a great last page reveal that will have you clamouring for more!

I did find myself getting lost in the different times the characters would end up, but I got the feeling that this is intentional. It doesn’t worry too much about the legitimacy or logistics of time travel – just that you can only go backwards from 2140 and return. This allows for interesting moments and creative storytelling opportunities. I cant wait to delve deeper into the different characters and time that they will find themselves in!

The art and colours of this book are great. They work to create a world that feels oppressive and bleak, but the art and colours shift with each time jump, creating a distinct character for each time. There are some great fish-eye lens perspective shots which both which blew me away, and the character acting is great adding to the humour and tension in the scenes.


Overall, this is an interesting and unique book that doesn’t get too weighed down on the laws of time travel. There is mystery, drama, and comedy with excellent art to back it all up. I can’t wait for issue 2!


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