The Man Who Effed Up Time #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 05, 2020

Writer: John Layman
Artist: Karl Mostert
Colors: Dee Cunniffe
Letters: John Layman

I went into this comic not knowing very much about it. The title caught my eye, I checked out a preview and decided it sounded quite fun. Beyond that I knew next to nothing about it, I wasn’t familiar with any of the creators involved, and had no real expectations on how good it would be. I need to do this more often since this comic was great fun and I enjoyed it from cover to cover.

The basic plot (I will avoid major spoilers but since this is a first issue there will be a few) follows Sean Bennett. He’s just your every day guy, only he also happens to work in a high-tech lab. Which has a prototype time machine. Let’s be honest here, who wouldn’t be tempted to go back and correct a few mistakes in our lives if the opportunity presented itself? So with a little encouragement this is exactly what he does. With dire consequences, not only for himself, but the world and all of time itself. The man who effed up time. The perfect example of exactly what it says on the tin. It’s not often that the title is not only intriguing enough to grab our attention and serves as the elevator pitch for the series as well.

We’re thrown right into the action from the first page, the first page being just one panel which sets the tone of the comic really well. We get a few pages letting us see just how bad time has got then we go back a day to find out how it got that way. It’s a real page turner, with plenty of mysteries and surprises on the way, along with a relatable main character.

Sean Bennett has his flaws and regrets which we learn early on, helping to make him relatable. There aren’t too many characters introduced but they arrive well formed on the page. We have a good feel for them without too much explanation.

I will be keeping an eye out for John Layman’s work in future. There’s good characterisation, interesting plot, relatable main character, and generally a fun, frantic first issue. It’s a good setup for the rest of the series.

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that a good first issue is hard to do. Some writers spend so much time on setting the story up and introducing all the characters they forget to make it fun and capture the feel of the series. Not here. Layman throws us straight into the story and we’re left to figure it out as we go along. It’s well done.

Karl Mostert’s art is good as well. I’m really wary of spoilers here so I won’t mention too many specifics, but he pulls off an alternate time-line which is a mishmash of all history in a really fun way which makes the first few pages in particular great fun. There’s dinosaurs, pyramids, top hats and all kinds of craziness going on and it’s excellent. Then we have his characters. They’re all well done and their expressions fill the reader in with a lot of extra information.

Dee Cunniffe’s colors are good as well. They bring out the best in the total absurdity of Bennett’s situation and help make the most of Mostert’s art.

A great first issue which pulls us deep into the mystery, it’s great fun, and the end of the issue brings home the stakes at play for our main character. Good art throughout helps to bring home how absurd and insane this issue is and keeps it entertaining. This is a series I look forward to following.

Our Score:


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