Advance Review: Exploring Days Of Past Future In `Time Before Time’ #19

by Tom Smithyman


This new story arc kicks off in the ancient past in a city that, on the surface, looks better than any future. But there is plenty of drama lying just under the surface in an interesting story from this creative team.


It turns out that the past isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.

That’s what time traveler Nadia Wells is learning in the latest issue of Time Before Time, which returns from a months-long break with a new story arc. After narrowly escaping AD 4140 by stealing a time pod, Wells is finally reunited with her mother in the distance past. Way distant, that is. As in 4.7 billion years in the past. Yet with its hovercars and free energy, this ancient Earth rivals anything from our near-term future.

Regardless of the year, though, Wells can’t escape from her own past…or is it her future? Her friend Tatsuo sacrificed himself to help her escape, her robot companion – the foul-mouthed Kevin – is now forbidden technology and her mother and sister have moved on with their lives.

Writers Rory McConville and Declan Shalvey do a good job of catching up the reader with the right amount of explanation. While it does bog the story down just a bit, it’s needed in a expansive series with lots of characters scattered across time periods. Past issues have been confusing with the constant time shifts, but the writers seem to have a handle on things now.

Jorge Coelho handles the artistic duties for this arc. Series co-creator Joe Palmer drew the first several issues, but eventually left the book, ceding the drawing responsibilities to a new artist for each arc. Amazingly enough, each subsequent artist has captured Palmer’s original feel for the story while still contributing their own touches. The same is true for Coelho, who illustrates an interesting past-future city. Special kudos to Chris O’Halloran, whose colors help to bind the series together, regardless of the penciler.

Time Before Time is truly living up to its name. How long the series will stay in the ancient past is yet to be seen, but if its history is any indication, Wells, Kelvin and the rest of these characters will likely be moving on in no time.

Time Before Time #18 will be available for purchase tomorrow.

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