Indie Comic Review: ZOË: OUT OF TIME #1
Time travel is a popular story device in comics. From big mainstream series’ like X-Men to indie hits like Comeback, it’s a familiar tool with a wealth of opportunities. ZOË: OUT OF TIME is a new indie comic written by J. Michalski and Alexander Lagos that takes a stab at putting its own spin on time travel.
The issue opens with a flashback to 1990 as we briefly join musician Trent Darrow. Afterwards we skip to the future in 2050 where teenager Zoë is investigating the very event we just witnessed. Quickly we see that Zoë is a bit of a rebel and ends up with an altercation with the police. Afterwards we meet her father, Dr. Corbin Black, who’s in the process of unveiling a new device that allows a look back through time. With very different introductions it’s clear these two have little in common. Both Zoë and Corbin are well written characters though, through their dialogue we get plenty of insights into their troubled relationship. Impressively they come across as far more fleshed out than the stereotypical mischievous misfit girl and straight-laced dad, they’re a believable pair. Which is important because the bulk of the issue focuses on the two of them. Zoë is also very independent and quite an endearing character, I enjoyed following her through the issue.
Derlis Santacruz handles the pencils for the comic, his work is fantastic. For an indie comic the artwork is far and away professional level. The amount of detail is truly admirable. Everything has a subtle feel of futuristic design but nothing is overdone or too intrusive, it’s a realistic approximation of where we might be in around 40 years time. Oren Kramek is the issue’s colourist who does a phenomenal job of bringing it all to life. The future segments use lots of blues and whites while the past locations rely on a different colour palette it’s a subtle change but it sells the fact we’re looking at two very different places.
Overall this comic is well worth checking out. The story is fun, the characters have depth and it’s rendered in gorgeous detailed and atmospheric art. Everything just comes together really well, there’s no weak link here. Although it’s a sci-fi story the focus is definitely on the characters. Rather than give us pointless technobabble about how everything works it cuts straight to the drama, which makes for a better story. I’m genuinely curious to what’s going to happen next too as Zoë is dropped in quite an interesting situation at the end of the issue. For the $2 asking price this comic is absolutely worth it.
If you want to grab the comic yourself you can find it on Amazon. The second issue is set for release on July 31st. If you want to learn more about ZOË: OUT OF TIME you can check out their Facebook page here or find them on Twitter at @ZoeOutOfTime.