COMIC REVIEW: Zoe Out of Time #1 and #2

zoe-out-of-time-1J. Michalski, Alexander Lagos and Derlis Santacruz offer up a brand new comic series called Zoe: Out of Time. What’s it all about then? The clue is in the title. This is a time travel story starring Zoe. And she’s only gone and got herself lost in a time other than her own.

Issue #1 begins with the death of Trent Darrow, a rock star in 1990, before moving the reader to 2050 where we meet Zoe and her scientist father. He wants to change the world for the better, as all mad scientist types tend to do. He’s invented a thingamabob which allows people to view actual events in history. Meanwhile, Zoe is in trouble with the cops for apparently stealing a recording of the aforementioned rock star’s (and his band) only album. This is to highlight her alienation and well, her being a teenager. Not sure a teenage girl would be interested in 60-year old music, but I’m willing to go with it for now. It is soon revealed that Professor Dad and his daughter don’t really get on and Mum has passed away. Inevitably, when it turns out that his invention lets you time travel as well as time view, Zoe steals it and goes back in time to see the band perform.

Issue #2 sees Zoe ‘discovered’ to be something out of the ordinary by Trent, who quickly ditches his very superficial girlfriend for her. Meanwhile, his band-mates are worried about her influence on them. Of course, Zoe looses the time device, which provides this comic’s central drama. Almost all of this issue takes place in 1990, with a couple of panels featuring her father and the cops trying to figure out where she went. How will the band get on? Will Zoe find the missing device? Will her father find out what happened? Will she change history?

The creators of Zoe are comic book debutant J. Michalski along with Alexander Lagos (The Sons of Liberty), who are credited as the writers, and the artist is Derlis Santacruz (War Goddess). This is clearly a labour of love for these guys. There is enthusiasm and vigour, but there are also a few rough edges which should smooth after more time and experience. The script is fairly basic and there is nothing here that we haven’t seen before: misunderstood but cool teen heroine; father figure and mad scientist who doesn’t understand his daughter; handsome rock star; misguided time travel; machine called Kronos. All present and correct. There is a lot of dialogue which sometimes clutters up the panels. Sometimes the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule has been forgotten, but not always. There are some nice moments. I especially liked the scene when Zoe recalls her mother’s dying words and shows some humanity towards her father. The characterisation is fairly thin. Without reading the comic, you can easily picture Zoe with her blue hair and (not very) rebellious clothes. Darrow is a bit of a clean-cut version of Jim Morrison. In Issue #2, there is one scene with the ex-girlfriend that is confusing at best, although that may be addressed later.

The art is nice if nothing new. Characters look like you’d expect them to look and there is a decent portrayal of emotion in their eyes, but I liked the tones and moods set by the colouring (provided by digital artist Oren Kramek). Most pages have a distinct colour theme. Panelling is generally ordered and easy to follow. It has a slight Manga feel to it, mostly due to the spiky haircuts and occasional flat background. Overall, decent and enjoyable artwork all round.

Hmm, Zoe: Out of time then; nothing to excited about but it shows some promise. It is, seemingly, a story about the butterfly effect. Will Zoe’s visit to 1990 affect the future? With only 2 more issues to go, the story is fairly tight, and I hope it comes to a satisfying and not too hackneyed conclusion.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reporter: Ian J Simpson

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: