Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming folks!
You may well be wondering about this random epigram at the start here from a former British PM. Well its because the idea he espouses has some connection to today’s wayfaring so bear with me as always and you will not be disappointed. I promise.
Today we return take a step back from the maddening world of mainstream comic news to once again dig into the pile of books that I keep around just to break the mold and keep it interesting – nothing like a good rolled up book to whack and break things eh?
For today’s wayfaring we head into shallow waters I normally don’t tread – those known as the sea of Antarctic Press! Ordinarily I tend to steer clear of these manga filled straits with their weak story-telling and average and uninspiring art with ladies more…ahem, prodigious… then even regular comics. But I came across by chance a most unusual series that fed my love of humour, creativity and that rare ingredient: Steampunk!
I don’t know about everyone else out there but as a genre it is one of the most fun to see in comics with the potential for such visual awesomeness, few others can compare just by default – in fact the works of greats like H.G.Wells and Jules Verne (just to name some familiars) are prime examples of how it can capture the imagination. Of course though we refer to comics so take the examples of works like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (not that weak-arsed movie please) by Alan Moore, Iron West by Doug TenNapal and Ignition City by Warren Ellis to name but a few.
Of course this genre has few enough people who can truly bring it to life so I was kicked to see this and doubly so when I read the premise because its completely my kind of mental!
So without further build up I present to you: TIME LINCOLN!
Yes, yes… I know it sounds wierd and cheesy and that was my first reaction too – a cheap gimmick to cash in on curiosity and fanboyish-ness!
In many ways this is true, but that’s unavoidable. This is the kind of comic and concept one looks at and that inner adolescents eyes light up. I say genuine opportunities for such are few and far between and mostly class-less these days so I’ll take them where I can!
There is also another series out there called “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” but that just was genuinely cheap and gimmicky and had not organic and energised feel that this story brings to the table
The Brain-child of series’ writer/artist Fred Perry, Time Lincoln is a wonderful (thus far) series of madcap time-travel, science fiction and steampunk filled action-fest from the start. Filled with great artwork that is not blatantly the manga that characterizes AP’s standard comics but as another reviewer pointed out very much like Scott Wegener meets Michael Oeming, great fun and very dynamic on every panel and every page.
I must warn that there is a certain degree of spoiler here for the first issue anyway but that is unfortunately inavoidable as you will see.
The series kicks off in the Ford Theatre where the legendary Abraham Lincoln (our hero) was ruthlessly assassinated by one John Wilkes Booth.
In our story however the moment of Lincolns killing is not quite as recorded in the history books. You see in ‘reality’ the dictator known as Jozef Stalin was an occult madman who wanted to – what else – try to take over the world.
…of course now I hear the theme to Pinky and The Brain in my head… that was a good show…
ANYWAY! It turns out that Stalin has unlocked a number of dark secrets and recruited evil underlings and such across time, using the evil arts once used by the infamous Rasputin. (who says learning cant be fun!) In his efforts he has uncovered a sort of shadow/alternate/dark dimension called The Void that allows him to easily travel through time and he is making full use of it – going so far as to dub himself (drum-roll please…) VOID STALIN!
So now we have our mega-villain and we have our setting. What about the hero?
Well it turns out that a group of heroes who also know how to access The Void have thwarted Void-Stalin and his Chrono-Communists at every step and defeated his minions prior to the start of the first issue.
This team of world-saving time-travelling heroes consists of Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Ben Franklin and Isaac Newton all sporting some pretty badass tech-gear and savvy and are led by – surprise! – Time Lincoln!
I have to say though I wish they had added Nikola Tesla to this list, the man is one of the most under-appreciated and genuinely most brilliant minds in history
And when Void-Stalin travels to the private box of Abraham Lincoln to kill the president believing that his death was faked that he might become Time Lincoln. He freezes time but is thwarted by none other then the time-traveling, stove-pipe-hat-wearing, back-fisting (love it!) presidential powerhouse himself who takes the place of his younger self by taking the hit for him.
The result? Young(er) Abe is set on his path to save all of history from the machinations of Void-Stalin and it turns out that the evil schmuck was responsible in a way for the birth of his greatest nemesis!!
…damn I love time-travel told well…
And so it comes to pass that in that moment when he was frozen and then unfrozen in time in the Ford Theatre, till mere moments when he comes back to free himself and die as history intended – he lived a whole lifetime (as the tagline proclaims) as Time Lincoln, saviour of all things!
Using all his skill and will – and his trusty Lincoln Back-fist and Void Punch – he and his trusty team travel time and space to battle Void-Stalin and his minions such as MepHitler and Apocalypse Mao among many others.
Currently five volumes of this series are out and Im just making my way to the third one (which Im going to relish this weekend!) and I would say if you like interesting concepts like this, time travel and historical alternate realities and such-like fictional playing around you should definitely be checking these books out!
On a closing note, I will be seeing you all sooner then expected as I will be posting a special edition of the Wayfarer tomorrow to give a rundown on what DC has planned for all its new titles once Flashpoint ends this september – I intend to keep updating the same post and linking any and all news to the ComicAddicts page on facebook so keep a weather eye on the horizon and I’ll see you all tomorrow!