We’re all used to time travel stories by now – disrupting the space-time continuum, changing the course of history, undoing past mistakes, yada yada yada. Well the creators of Chrononauts from Image Comics, Mark Millar and Sean Murphy, realize that and still manage to give us a really fun story.
Chrononauts revolves around two best friends Corbin and Danny, genius rockstar scientists that discover time travel and decide to televise historic events around the world, only to go time traveling themselves and screw up everything along the way. If this sounds a bit ridiculous and Hollywood-y, it is, and it’s supposed to be.
When Corbin and Danny put on their Chronosuits and hope back into time, they realize things can get very fun and whacky, so they do what any two good-looking bros would do when traveling back in time – sleep with women, bring back modern technology, rule over ancient peoples and become demi-gods throughout history. You’ll find fighter jets in ancient ruins, machine guns mowing down armies powered with spears and bows, muscle cars outrunning riders on horseback and tons of other cross-historical mashups Millar imagines.
The story itself isn’t too complex, nor is the dialogue, but that’s okay because it’s meant to be a super fun, imaginative romp through history with a couple of knuckleheads, who are somehow geniuses, as they cause mayhem and are chased by “time cops” throughout history. If this sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster, it will be. Millar sold the movie rights to Chrononauts after just one issue to Universal. The entire story feels like it was written to be produced into a Hollywood film, which it may have been, but that just makes me enjoy the breakneck pace of the story for what it is.
The two main characters, Corbin and Danny, severely lack any depth, but any background or character development would have slowed the story town and felt out of place. Everything you need to know about them is laid out in the beginning, then we’re off to the races.
Sean Murphy is the perfect artist for this story – his art is very detailed and energetic, with tons of details in the backgrounds. The over-the-top battle scenes have so much going on, and the splash pages jump out. I found myself pouring over every panel just enjoying all the movement and detail between them. Any fan of Sean Murphy won’t be disappointed with Chrononauts.
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Chrononauts likely won’t go down as one of the best comic book stories of all time. It lacks depth and character development, but it’s entertaining as hell. The entire time I was reading it, I was imagining this story being told on the big screen, and I think Chris Pratt and James Franco would be perfect for Corbin and Danny! If you want to take a break from any deep, serious reads and just want a very fast paced, action packed sci-fi read, pick up Chrononauts.
Where to get it
Chrononauts is a 4 issue mini-series, but is collected in trade paperback form that you can pick up from your LCS (find your Local Comic Shop) or online at Amazon. Millar and Murphy will be publishing a second volume in 2016, too.
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