Monday, March 09, 2009
The Travelers - A Suspended Animation Review From 2003
His hand outstretched, imagine somber Hamlet saying, "To be or not to be, that is the question." Next to a broken mirror on a wall behind the Prince is a sign reading: In Case of Broken Glass, Break Glass.
That's not funny or dramatic.
Knowing that, Shakespeare didn't write it and is therefore remembered as a great bard. But, ah sweet Uric, Tony DiGerolamo of The Travelers did write that and more. That sign actually hangs behind a terrible sword fight in his 18th issue, and weakens both its suspense and tragedy.
Therein lays a problem for a comic book series that can't decide if it is fish or fowl, friend. These specific travelers are an ensemble cast of male and female characters who star in two different settings, times, and genres in the issues reviewed. In the 18th issue, they lay siege to a medieval castle while in the 19th issue they act in a parody of James Bond movies.
Believable dialog, plotting that is tight, characterization that is intriguing, and a light-hearted tone to The Travelers does much to recommend the series. But is that enough?
Minimalist art is entertaining but irregular because of multiple inkers, and that makes suspension of disbelief difficult. In addition, the otherwise acceptable lettering varies in size, particularly in the 18th issue. Size in lettering denotes the intensity and volume of the spoken word, and is jarring in this context.
Its potential not fully realized, this series' weakness is inconsistency. Its strength is a love of media, subject and characters that makes it fun but not exceptional. Recommended for those who are patient enough to wait for the full blossoming of the talent that obviously exists in its creators.
The Travelers #s 18 & 19/29 pgs. and $2.99 each from Kenzer and Company/story: Tony DiGerolamo; art: various/sold at comics shops and www.wingnutgames.com.
Review by Michael Vance