Review: Confusion Reigns In `Time Before Time’ #11

by Tom Smithyman


With characters time-skipping across the years, Time Before Time is an intriguing series filled with memorable characters. But if you’re likely to be confused by non-linear storytelling, you may need to look elsewhere. Still, it’s a complex tale worthy of your…time.


Things are looking pretty glum for the characters in Time Before Time #11. Time-hopper Nadia found out that her search in 2042 for her mother and sister was futile because the family had already traveled further in the past. Tatsuo has his time pod stolen, then learned that he’s dying of radiation sickness from a poorly shielded time machine. Meanwhile there’s a firefight in 2999. Confused yet?

As intriguing as the Time Before Time story is, that confusion across multiple times detracts a bit from the story. Luckily artist Joe Palmer’s distinct drawing style makes each character distinct and easy to recognize. And writers Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville keep the action moving, so the reader is on to the next timeline before having to ask too many questions.

The writers also do a great job of creating strong, memorable characters, including Kevin, the hilariously profane and robot who has been displaced from his own time. Kevin, likely to become a fan favorite if he isn’t already, proves to be the hero in this issue as he puts Tatsuo on the path to reuniting with Nadia. After several issues where those main characters were split up after traveling back to 2042, the issue ends with the pair reunited and looking for a cure to Tatuso’s radiation sickness. It’s a welcome reunion that should help tone down any confusion in the storyline.

Issue #11 marks the end of the series’ second arc as well as the final contribution from co-creator Palmer. While Shalvey is an accomplished artist, he seems to spend at least as much time writing recently. Aside from cover work, he’ll stick to his scribing duties for Time, allowing guest artists to draw the remaining arcs. Palmer’s unique style will be hard to replicate, so hopefully the series won’t miss a bet visually.

Time Before Time #11 is now on sale in print and digitally from Image Comics.


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