Page 45 Review by Stephen
If your first impression upon opening a graphic novel is, Ooooh, look at those colours! then youre off to a good start.
Unless its in black and white, in which case its high time you rethought your LSD intake.
Tones of turquoise form the consistent base on black and white. Throw in butterscotch, bloody red splatters, then lime-green or purple or blue and I was primarily more than impressed, until I realised it wasnt just a pretty face I was looking at. Theyre actually chronological colour codes: the past is in green, the present is purple, the future is blue, whereas the butterscotch Meld is something else entirely.
And it is.
Its a pocket dimension in time into which things fall from the past, the present or the future, often by accident as if caught in some sort of Bermuda Triangle but occasionally by design. Joshuas been sent quite deliberately from the future into the Meld in order to assassinate The Spear. Hes volunteered in exchange for the scientists help curing his comatose wife. Unfortunately hes lost the majority of his memory and when he tries to communicate with the future using the frequency of 8 hed drawn on his wrist, he hears instead a womans voice urging him to follow the dinosaur: that little critter which has just appeared to his right.
He follows the lizard only to encounter a woman called Nila whose voice is identical to the one hed just heard, but shes never seen him before in her life. Shes certainly never spoken to him.
Meanwhile, Doctor Hamm in the present has chartered a plane to fly into a storm he believes will take his team to the Meld. It doesnt. It takes him waaaaaay back in time and into a period of the past populated by sabretooth lions.
How much more should I tell you? The Spear too has a time capsule which he doesnt know how to operate and now leads The Tyrants soldiers in search of the rebels amongst whom is Nila. Nilas younger brother has a monkey dressed in a NASA spacesuit, while Nila herself bears an uncanny resemblance to Joshuas wife from the future.
Will everything connect? Oh yes, with much more to come, including that marking of 8 Or infinity.
Its not quite as breath-taking as the ridiculous clever and compact time-travel chapter in Warren Ellis SECRET AVENGERS VOL 3 or the first season finale of Matt Smiths Doctor Who, but its plenty satisfying, I promise you.
The figure work throughout is rough-hewn but gorgeous, Albuquerques animals are thoroughly thrilling, while the elaborately helmed Tyrant looks like hes drawn by Sir Barry Windsor-Smith especially his nose, jaw and mouth. Which was unexpected.