Story: Matt Kindt
Art: Scott Kolins
What They Say:
As the PastAways grapple with the mystery of a gargantuan robot from beyond time, a shocking revelation threatens to fracture the group!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening couple of issues of Past Aways has largely been a hoot when you get down to it because it’s throwing a lot of things at the reader with lots of detailed bits thrown into the mix as well. But it’s mostly just asked the reader to go along with it all and have fun with it. While one can get bogged down in the details of it all, especially true whenever you begin delving into time travel, there’s also that element where you just have to kind of accept it and just enjoy it. Past Aways is constructing an intriguing narrative, in our present and in the varied pieces of the future, but what draws me back each time isn’t so much the story already but rather just the character interactions. I imagine story will catch up along the way, knowing Kindt, but I’m already enamored with these characters and the paths they’ve taken to end up where they are.
This issue has the group dealing with the arrival of the massive giant robot that’s striding across the Chicago landscape, causing lots of damage and a few deaths, and the story there is certainly interesting. With the group separated in their attempt to get onto the machine and communications blocked, we get Arthur rattling off orders and plans nobody can hear while everyone makes progress towards the obvious of going for the head. There’s some really icky and disturbingly fun stuff inside of it that paints it as far more than your typical giant robot, and the story allows Herb to really take center stage as they get to dealing with the truth of it in that it’s a whole lot like Phil in its design and that it’s basically been caught in a temporal loop across who knows how many years, but has been lucky enough to be unobserved until now. It is admittedly taken down easy, but it represents an interesting look at the time travel aspect and some of the earlier things tried in the future that went wrong.
While that’s all fun, it’s what’s mixed in that’s really intriguing. What we get is a look at more of the characters future past lives and what had lead them to their mission itself, giving us a little more clue about what they’re like and what they underwent. With one delving into some intense training on the moon and then a sequence where we see Arthur being all proud that his leadership is what drew them there and that leadership is what makes him who he is, it all adds to the greater picture of the cast. The really, really interesting part though is from the recent past after being stranded, where Art brings Phil to a particular scene to show him what he’s figured out about how to fix it all. It’s one of several moments that seems to have caused a huge wedge between the two, and rightly so since Art wants to just take pieces from Phil’s head so they can return home. It’s pure Art, and you can tell that already, but Phil’s retort is solid as it makes you want to know more about all he’s truly done to survive and live as he has that he won’t give up his life to allow everyone to return home.
With several time travel books out there these days, it does take a lot to stand out and do something distinct. Past Aways is most assuredly a distinct book thanks to Kindt’s writing and the really dynamic and wonderfully detailed artwork from Kolins, especially as he presents so many locales – including the inside of a bio-robot. The story here brings this robot piece to a close, and I’m glad it’s not a huge investment arc, but it served to show more of what went on in the future that went wrong while also exposing more of the main cast and the things they faced together and separately. I’m really curious to see where else this book wants to go because it has so many options, and to continue to get more of this split storytelling design to see more of what makes these people who they are, and what secrets they may yet carry that impacts the presents day storyline. Very good and fun stuff all around that always hits the top of my review pile when new books come in.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 27th, 2015