Comeback #4

Story by
Art by
Michael Walsh
Colors by
Jordie Bellaire
Letters by
Ed Brisson
Cover by
Image Comics

The next-to-last part of Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh's time travel crime tale, "Comeback," continues on the same clear storytelling path that the series has stuck to so far. With Walsh's clear art and Jordi Bellaire's bright and clarifying coloring, the fourth issue is again an enjoyable read that uses time travel without abusing it.

Everything in the series so far has been leading up to the point in this issue where all the characters are directly connected. In the near-past, most of the cast is erupting into a shoot-out, while in the current timeline, the head of Reconnect is being grilled on secrets his company may be keeping. When the events in the past necessitate a change in the present, Brisson and Walsh mark that moment clearly in the storytelling, with a nifty swap-out of characters that maintains the scene's momentum and direction. An issue that started out as a talking heads piece quickly becomes high drama in two time frames before ending in a singular event that should change everything.

The general problem with time travel stories is that they can get too convoluted, impressed by the writer's obsession with his grandiose big idea. It can drown out characterization and plot in favor of a confusing mess of expository dialogue that talks in circles rather than clarifying things to the reader. "Comeback," thankfully, does none of that. There's a bit of hand-waving at the end of this fourth issue, but the next issue should be able to explain it. Brisson balance the needs of a time travel storyline neatly with the other elements he's dropped into the series: a paranoid thriller, a secretive organization story and a crime drama.

Brisson has an opening at the end of the issue to do whatever he wants to do with the story next. The fifth issue's success will hinge on whether he can capitalize on what he's set up in the final pages here in a way that doesn't feel like a cheat. It'll be tough to come up with something unique, but there are interesting characters and situations here to capitalize on.

Walsh's art is loose and gestural. He's not big into the details, leaving those to the imagination of the reader, most often. The inks outline the shapes and give weight, leaving colorist Jordie Bellaire to fill the open areas with the appropriate hues. (And she does, matching the simple nature of the art with a flat coloring style that uses its textures and shading sparingly and effectively.) The core art is solid, so the acting sells the story. The storytelling is as clear as anything I've read recently, using a well-defined series of rectangular panels on every page, usually four tiers per page.

"Comeback" is another all-too-silent winner from Image. If next month's ending can reset the story in an interesting way, the mini will have succeeding in telling a focused time travel story with a corporate twist that entertains without confusing. I'll take more of those.

The Joker Finally Visits Ric Grayson in Nightwing #70

More in Comics