Alan Smithee

The Traveler #5 – Review

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When I first started reading the Mark Waid / Chad Hardin project, The Traveler…I was torn. I loved the hell out of the art and the overall style of the book, but for some reason the story wasn’t there for me, that is until this issue.

I may be a bit biased since Chad Hardin is a good buddy of ours and a fellow Utahn, but I can’t deny that he’s quite possibly one of the best artists that BOOM! Studios employs. Of course, I’m partial to whomever is doing the art for my favorite book from these guys (The Amory Wars drawn by Aaron Kuder at the moment, review of their latest issue tomorrow), but Chad draws some of the most bad-ass covers for BOOM! and the individual pages have some of the most crisp and clean drawings I’ve seen.

With this great artwork should be great writing, and until this issue I hadn’t really liked what The Traveler offered us mainly because it was issue/cliffhanger/deus-ex/issue…etc, etc. This isn’t so bad considering it’s been a much repeated formula for all comics, but with this series it hasn’t actually clicked until some of the action in this issue.

Now the the split-second men are temporarily defeated, we get started on a new story arc that reveals who the mastermind was behind it all. This is the best time to start in on the series. You get caught up quickly and are dropped immediately into the action.

Mark Waid knows what he’s doing when it comes to writing, but I sometimes think that having Stan Lee’s name on a comic makes some people shy away from books even though it’s pretty apparent that his name is just being used to market and he doesn’t really take much of the writing duties for himself. Thanks to the tag team of Tom Peyer AND Mark Waid, we’re opened up to the REAL story pushing The Traveler along this issue and I’m starting to enjoy it much more than the first 4 issues.

I guess they had to get much of the exposition out of the way before they were able actually get into some ass kicking and thoughtful storytelling. Much like The Traveler, Kronus, we were stuck in the past.

STORY: 76%
ART: 90%
OVERALL: 83%

My favorite bit, and this isn’t a spoiler…really, is when Kronus realizes that he has no idea how to use the gun he obtains so he pulls a Bill & Ted’s Bogus Adventure and disappears for a few seconds in normal time, but actually took some time off in another continuum to learn how to use the weapon.

It’s little bits like this that will keep my coming back to this series. I know for sure I’m going to be back next month to find out the resolution to the serious “oh damn!” moment we get on the last page this month.

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