This one is a few years old and I had kind of forgotten about it. When this first came out I though, sure Stan Lee has co-created tons of cool characters along the way, I will check this one out. So I bought the first three issues and I thought I would keep up with the series as it went on. This review will be a little different as most stories I review are at least 4 issues, I only bought the first three for this one.
If you read comics and you do not know who Stan Lee is then please leave this blog and do not come back!!
The story starts out with a scientist (Ronald Lessik) working on a revolutionary experiment, like so many other superhero origin stories. The experiment is sabotaged and a disaster ensues killing Lessik’s wife. The accident changes Lessik and the other people in the lab giving them extraordinary powers that have some control over time. He can alter his speed moving faster and slower, doing so gives him strength. Now, calling himself Kronus, he is on a mission to figure out what happened and who is responsible.
This series was part of Boom Studios and my guess was to try and get their names out there. What better way to do that than use one of the biggest names in comics to help. Lee created three characters including this one for Boom. The other titles were Starborn, and Soldier Zero. The Traveler was the only one I picked up to read. As far as I can tell all three series only went for 12 issues, I am not sure if this is what was contracted or if the lack of popularity ended the run at 12.
The reason I say that is because unless you distinctly remember when these came out I doubt very seriously that you have heard of any of them, and usually there is a reason for that. The Traveler I felt was nothing great. I went into this one with an open mind ready to get wrapped up in a new series and a reason to visit my local comic shop ever few weeks to pick up the newest issue. However, that enthusiasm quickly dissipated after I started reading this one.
I feel like I am usually more than fair when it comes to giving something a chance, and I am notorious for reading anything to the bitter end while I suffer in agony turning page after page. I will not say that this one was that bad, just felt like it had nothing special to offer. I love the premise, and am a big fan of talking about time and the science behind it. So I was totally on board when a new character was introduced with the ability to sort of control time to an extent.
Honestly, I think where this one lost me was the dubious and terrifying name they came up with for the bad guys. The Split- Second Men, o no!!!!! Really? That is the best you can come up with? When I read that I felt like I was reading a 1950’s comic. “Don’t play in the street little Johnny, and remember to eat your vegetables.” I think this is pretty much the main reason I could not continue spending my money reading this title. Just felt too juvenile and childish. I admit that I should have read more in this series to get a better picture. When I remembered that I had read it a few weeks ago, I looked up the reviews and thougth about purchasing the next two issues to get a better picture of the story. The not so great reviews dissuaded that intention pretty quickly.
I also was uninterested in the story. There seemed to be nothing real exciting going on in this one that made me want to keep reading and buy the next issue. With that being said I did like overall ideas in the story but I felt like the execution was majorly lacking. I think it is such a neat idea of a superhero comic who has the ability to control time, it is also interesting how not everything is happening in chronological order. That is a neat idea for a comic. I have seen it in novels before, and it usually drives me crazy, but it is easier to keep event straight when you can put a face with the event.
I just could not get behind this one as I continued to read. It all felt too cheesy, like the writers were trying too hard to get something out there just to try and make some money. I didn’t feel any real connection or realism that so many of Lee’s characters have.
What I cannot figure out is how this all went down (the deal with Boom Studios). I assume Lee created the character and Mark Waid, who is awesome, wrote the story. I am pretty sure that is the case, and I am very disappointed with the quality that Waid and his team produced. I am not sure how you go from one of the best most awesome series of all time, Irredeemable, to this mess? I guess everyone gets a pass every now and then.
The artwork in this one is ok. It is fairly traditional and has all the detail that I like, there is just something about it that is off, in my opinion. I can’t put my finger on it but I think its missing something. The cover art for each issue is pretty cool as well, in fact this was yet again a real selling point for me. I will admit that when I saw the covers for the issues I was immediately intrigued by what was inside. I was a little let down when I opened the comic to see the traditional art, I guess I was expecting something different based on the cover. Never judge a book by its cover. Page layouts and scenes selection are nothing out of the ordinary and are mostly traditional. That goes with the colors as well. They are nothing special but they are very deep and rich which is what I like. I also thought that when Kronos uses his powers these florescent blue circles appear that I think are really cool. They really jump off the page and I always enjoy this technique in comics.
I also wanted to mention that at the end of each chapter there is about five or 6 pages from the other titles Boom Studios and Stan Lee were working (Starborn and Soldier Zero). This is kind of cool I suppose, but really to me kind of reeks of desperation. Basically I saw it as please buy these other titles, pretty please. In all honesty the other titles do not look bad, in fact when they first came out I thought about buying them, but when I was less than enthused about this one I decided to wait. Now that they have been out for a few years you can see the reviews on these titles are a little lackluster as well. All these titles got about the same amount of stars no Amazon, so take that however you like.
Overall I don’t think I can recommend this one. Although, I will say that I wish more series were like this one. I think 12 issues is a nice round number and just long enough to set a nice detailed story in place and not break the bank. Series that carry on for 10 or more trades drive me crazy, but if I were on the other end of that I would be trying to drag it out as long as I could, its always about that cheddar $$. Anyways, I honestly think that this series was created just to try and drum up some business. I don’t think the quality in any shape or form was there for this or the other two titles Lee was involved with. I would also like to say that I only read the first 3 issues so you have to take this review with a grain of salt. I usually like to read more than this before I make my judgment, but based on what I had already read, coupled with the reviews, or lack thereof, out there on these titles I went ahead and made my judgment. I think it is a neat idea at its core, but very poorly executed, and seemed to be a total lack of skill and charisma that Waid has in his other wonderful stories. The premise on not only this one but all the Boom Studio/Stan Lee titles sound really cool, but for some reason I could not get into this one. Felt too cheesy, fake, and forced. I suggest sticking with the other more famous Stan Lee characters and stories.