Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: Sean Gordon Murphy
Did anyone here ever see the Robot Chicken sketch “Dicks with time machines”? Because really that’s the best way to describe Chrononauts #2 and also the quickest way to decide whether or not the book is for you. After a first issue that felt a bit standard and didn’t really gel with me, the newest instalment speaks much more clearly to the book’s tone and comes off a lot stronger because of it. It’s not anything that’ll make you rethink your life or change your perspective on things, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a chuckle and got some guilty pleasure out of the low brow humour. If you go in with the right expectations there’s a lot to enjoy in this comic.
Danny manages to catch up with his friend and partner Doctor Quinn who it seems has spent the past four years (relative to him) travelling through time and building up his own empire through different eras. While this initially caused me to roll my eyes and scratch my head seeing as this seemed both predictable and a little weird seeing as last issue it seemed like Danny was the one with responsibility issues and not Quinn, but once the two decide to abandon all responsibility and just mess about in the time stream I just threw my hands in the air and settled in for the ride. When I shut my brain off I will admit my enjoyment increased massively, I even laughed quite a few times at some of the places the two visited and what they did (including the birth of a certain religious figure). It’s the sort of thing that isn’t overly original, but the way Millar presents these scenes is distinctly in his style, something I feel was sorely missing last time, leading to an issue that while it is on the intellectual level of a Michael Bay movie is admittedly a lot of fun and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it. With only two issues left however and the plot still not advancing much further I can’t see a lot of depth in the story, but it looks like it’ll make a pretty fun mini-series.
Murphy’s art is just as excellent as it was in the first issue, and it’s clear that Millar’s inclusion of a number of different time periods is to allow Murphy to stretch his legs and draw lots of beautiful scenery. Murphy’s art is grand and intricately detailed, Quinn’s palace looks incredible in the splash pages towards the beginning, but what’s even more impressive is the level of detail Murphy gives to locals that may only show up for a single page or even panel, yet despite their brevity he treats them with just as much love and care. My personal favourite was his depiction of the Jazz Age, the perfect place for our two leads. The art replicates the energy of the main story and once again makes the book worth picking up so for the level of detail and effort on show.
Overall, after my grumbling and complaining about the first issue I feel I know better what the appeal of the story is this time round. The immaturity and irrelevance I know longer see as flaws but instead part of the low brow charm of the series, the series seems to be literally just two grown children messing about with time machines, but really it’s a lot of fun. I suppose I went in with the wrong kind of expectations, but if you go into this looking for a good time and a few laughs you’re sure to find something to enjoy here. I kind of wish the material in this issue had been included in the first as this is the sort of opening the book needed and speaks a lot more to Millar’s style, but after a slow opening it seems like Chrononauts has landed and will be a fun ride while it lasts.