Note: This review was originally published at ComicsBulletin.com
Though at its base level is ridiculous and scientifically improbable, the concept of time travel continues to fascinate us. Despite the probability of creating paradoxes or alternate timelines or whatever is going on in the Terminator movies, we can’t help but fantasize about giving certain things in life a do-over, or perhaps make an even greater lasting impact on history. Ivar, Timewalker #3 reminds us of another possibility for the space-time continuum: that certain points in history are fixed and cannot be undone. What is essentially fate is the crux of the latest adventure by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry.
The idea that the universe will find a means to prevent certain events from being changed is hardly revolutionary. In the comic world, Geoff Johns explored this very notion during his brief run on Booster Gold back in the late 2000s. However, what Van Lente does so well is make a familiar trope feel fresh. The root of this is the banter between Ivar and Neela, who continues to be suspicious of her time-traveling companion and questions his every decision.
Van Lente appears to be using this title as a means to provide commentary on today’s world. In Ivar, time travel is not reserved to those with a sense of responsibility for the greater good. Rather, it is a lavish form of entertainment for wealthy thrill-seekers. It is easy to draw comparisons to recent news stories of privatized space-travel. The title also features time-traveling pranksters called Lurkers, which are essentially internet trolls. They’re their to leave hashtag graffiti on World War II landmarks and draw phallic imagery on Hitler’s face with a Sharpie.
Ultimately, this oddball combination of ideas causes Ivar, Timewalker #3 to suffer from a bit of identity crisis. The book can’t decide if it wants to be a swashbuckling adventure, a cautionary tale, or a parody of modern society. Despite its uneven nature, Ivar remains an entertaining alternative to corporate comics.