Advance Review: A Heist Job In `Time Before Time’ #13

by Tom Smithyman


After several confusing issues where multiple characters bounced around the timeline, the beginning of this two-part arc tells a more straightforward story. While the artwork can sometimes be underwhelming, the story is tight and the characters are interesting.


When all else fails, plan a heist.

While Time Before Time has been an enjoyable romp through different periods of the past and future, the introduction of multiple characters scattered throughout time has sometimes made narrative difficult to follow. So the series creators have wisely chosen to take a breath and tell a simpler story – at least for this two-issue story arc.

Time traveling bounty hunter Sebastian and a group of freelance companions are trying to track down series regulars Tatsuo Edwards and Nadia Wells, who previously escaped into the past. They are high-priority targets after stealing a time pod and killing a key Syndicate player. Sebastian needs their high bounty to pay for his grandson’s surgery. (Apparently they still haven’t solved universal health care in the future.) So Sebastian and crew need to travel to the future to steal technology that allows them to track the pod through time.

Writer Rory McConville flies solo on this arc, with series co-creator Declan Shalvey responsible for only the intimidating cover art. McConville’s story is tight, gives just the right amount of background for these new characters without overloading the reader with exposition. He does a good job of giving us characters’ motivations and in setting up an explosive cliffhanger before the next installment.

Guest artist Ron Salas provides a distinct looks for the bowl-cut Sebastian as well as Gustav Plushfeld, who seems to be visually inspired by crossing the Spider-Man villain Rhino with Guardians of the Galaxy’s Charlie-27. Beyond a few interesting characters, though the artwork is pretty standard fare. An entire page devoted a cityscape and the team traveling to their target seems to be wasted fairly rudimentary drawings.

It will be interesting to see if the writers stick to this more streamlined storytelling approach after the arc concludes, or if they will go back to their mixed-up, time-hopping ways.

Time Before Time #13 will be available for purchase on June 8, 2022.

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