Ivar, Timewalker is yet another updated reboot from the new Valiant Comics. While I rave about most, if not all, Valiant titles and characters, this is a series that I find most complex. First, a little about Ivar Anni-Pada. Ivar is the youngest of three immortal brothers, Gilad and Aram Anni-Pada. They literally have been alive since the dawn of mankind. At some point, Ivar gained the ability to travel through time.
What we have with this series is Fred Van Lente not just writing a comic book about the time traveling adventures of Ivar but he’s giving us in the first four issues a time traveler’s almanac. We first meet doctor Neela Sethi, a physicist, who is accidentally about to stumble upon something big. This is when Ivar stops her, as he puts it, “from discovering time travel.” We then enter the Prometheans, time traveling suicide constructs from the fifth dimension. They also want Doctor Sethi. Ivar whisks her away through a time arc. This is where the two travel all throughout history to escape their pursuers. This is where Ivar teachers Neela that cause and effect are just things we see in movies. That the universe has enabled it to almost impossible to change history.
Evidently in the future of the Valiant Universe time travel is a huge thing. According to Ivar, everyone wants to break in their time traveler’s shoes by trying to kill Hitler. Ivar calls this lesson, “Let’s NOT Kill Hitler.” It’s here we learn that no matter how hard you try to change a pivotal point in history, the universe will not allow it. Ivar points this out by showing Neela all the various temporal assassins who have come to kill Hitler and we get to see firsthand how this age-old temporal bucket list plays out for everyone involved.
As Ivar drags Neela through various times, she begins to learn a few things about herself. At one point she is forced to kill two Nazi officers who are torturing Ivar. This act of cold blooded murder doesn’t sit well with Neela but even she realizes it was a necessary evil in order to save a man’s life. This all leads to who Neela will become in the future, which happens to be the surprising villain of the series thus far.
With so many off the wall Doctor Who references, Clayton Henry even goes as far as to draw Ivar in very similar clothes resembling the 8th Doctor. None of these make Timewalker a bad book, if anything it enhances it. It shows that the creative team has drawn inspiration no matter how small from the granddaddy of all time travel and there is nothing wrong with that. If anything it’s honest; from Ivar’s emphasis on “We are running, we are running!” when in danger to his whole lesson about “Let’s NOT kill Hitler.” There is a lot of educated writing in Timewalker, a lot of science fiction meets modern day cold hard facts of physics.
This reader anticipates every issue as he did each Saturday episode of Doctor Who when he was a kid and you will too! It would be nice to see how Van Lente’s ‘Book of Death‘ plays out for Valiant this summer which will feature not only the future fates of Ivar but also Bloodshot and X-O Man-O-War as well. We even catch a cameo of Rai in an issue as Ivar stops off for tea in the 42nd century and shows Neela just what happens when one time traveler meets himself. If anything else, Ivar, Timewalker and Van Lente could very well become the new linchpin of the Valiant Universe threading it all together.