Advance Review: Running A Heist Job In `Time Before Time’ #14

by Tom Smithyman


The series known for its expansive stories across multiple times finally takes a breather to tell the tale of a heist job. It’s a welcome departure, even if this particular tale is a somewhat formulaic one.


From Ocean’s Eleven (both versions) to High Sierra, heist jobs are among the most popular stories in pop culture. They typically feature a band of misfits – some of whom never return from the heist – risking life and limb for some McGuffin.

The Time Before Time series has taken a temporarily detour from its time-skipping adventures to tell a smaller story where a group of bounty hunters is searching for a map that will lead to the location of the series’ main characters. It is an easy-to-digest story and a welcome departure from the oftentimes confusing main thread.

For the second time in this two-part tangent, series co-creator Rory McConville takes over sole writing responsibilities. (The series’ other founder and frequent co-writer, Declan Shavley, again draws the main cover.) McConville’s story is a traditional one for anyone who is familiar with heists. The group of misfit protagonists who are often guided their own competing motivations. The impossible odds to reach their goal. The sacrifice that some of them must make. Still, it is well executed and ties into the larger story.

Guest artist Ron Salas concludes his two-part run with this issue. It is largely a blood-soaked affair, particularly for the anonymous guards who serve little more purpose than cannon fodder. Still, Salas does a good job of toning down the gore, while still differentiating each of the main characters. He was also able to follow the look established by co-creator Joe Palmer (who has since left the series) while still adding his own touches.

These last few issues have allowed readers to catch their breaths before the main characters show up again and start their time-skipping shenanigans. Hopefully the writers can take a lesson from the last few contained stories and simplify their tale just a bit.

Time Before Time #14 will be available for purchase on July 6, 2022.

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