Before we get to the nit and grit of this column I want to apologize for my absence. I’ve been incredibly busy with school, work, and comic book projects of my own (Editor’s Note: Ken won the Top Cow Comics Talent Hunt Contest!). While I’ve stopped doing reviews I still love to recommend books that I find intriguing and think that the rest of the comic community should jump on and read. For my first trip back to Cosmic Book News I want to talk about Theremin #1 from Monkeybrain Comics. The story is written by Curt Pires, the art is done by Dalton Rose, and the letters by Ryan Ferrier. It’s a time travel story with a unique twist that mixes alternative history, an unlikely device, and sets up a really intriguing story.
The first issue follows Leon Theremin as he discovers time travel through frequencies in the new instrument that he would later become famous for. But unlocking this power takes him down a dark road that leaves him at odds with Vladimir Lenin and a horrific possible future. I’ll just say that things get complicated and you should read it for yourself so that I don’t spoil too much.
The usual problem with time travel stories is that it focuses on the technology too much and not on the actual characters. What I really like about this first issue is that we get a strong sense of who Leon is and what he believes. When he experiences time travel it makes it all the more exciting to see him deal with it and move on to the next problem or situation because an investment has been made with him as a person. It’s common that character development gets lost in the shuffle of a story like this, but I was invested the entire time.
Monkeybrain has been putting out incredible digital titles. I was drawn to Theremin because of its catchy cover, the premise, and the awesome gun that Leon is brandishing like a dapper Adam Strange. It’s the kind of comic that doesn’t need any big explanation or backstory, which makes it the perfect alternative to the normal fare. If you’re looking for a break from your regular reading routine and love time travel stories then you should really check this out. I personally can’t wait for the next issue.
(All images taken from http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/titles/theremin/#)