It turns out the Mayans were right, the world does end in 2012. How they predicted that Hitler’s top-secret doomsday device would be discovered and then accidentally triggered is beyond me though. Fortunately for the human race the “New World Order”, a CIA/FBI/Interpol type of organization, has put together a crack team of special agents to go back in time to prevent the world-wide disaster from happening. This is the setup of Radical Comics graphic novel Time Bomb. Time Bomb is actually the name of the time travel device, which operates by harnessing a small nuclear explosion, not the name of the Nazi created missile that spreads an unstoppable virus throughout the world’s atmosphere.
Radical Comics is a publisher that, according to their Wikipedia page, produces only products that they think would be directly translatable to the big screen. Essentially, by this definition, Radical comics are jazzed up screenplays. With that in mind Time Bomb is, in movie terms, Armageddon meets Inglorious Basterds meets Timeline. While it’s true that I could see this story being made into a movie, it would likely be a B-movie starring the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and whoever is the modern equivalent of Lorenzo Lamas.
While Time Bomb on the whole was a fairly enjoyable read, it definitely suffered a bit from clunky dialogue, sometimes confusing action sequences and moderate artwork. It’s hard to introduce an alternate reality as involved as that of Time Bomb quickly and successfully especially when all of the important pieces are unknowns. Consequentially the introductory vignettes of the main characters and explanation of the time travel device come off as kind of cheesy. One of the “big surprises” is pretty thinly veiled as we learn that the disgruntled lead scientist of the Time Bomb project disappeared during a time travel experiment shortly after learning his project was going to be shut down and that the newly discovered Nazi Bunker that ultimately releases the doomsday device has working elements that are far superior to the technology available in the 1940’s. Do you think you might run into that missing scientist later in the story?
The main strength of Time Bomb is that the fighting squad gets to kill a lot of Nazis and you pretty much can’t go wrong when it comes to that. It’s explained to our heroes that the time travel process if not finitely controllable, as I suppose nuclear explosions tend not to be, so they don’t know how far back in time they are being sent. It is fortunate for them, and ultimately all of humanity, that they decide: “You know what? Maybe we should be totally friggin jacked out with weapons when we do this time travel thing”, because wouldn’t you know it, they get dropped right into the strength of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The space-time continuum is a tricky thing to balance when you mess around in time travel but the team in Time Bomb are literally trying to save the earth from total annihilation so they quickly realize they have a bit of flexibility when it come to affecting the future. Also did I mention they were fighting Nazis? Not only are they armed to the teeth with the task of saving the human race, but their time travel drop zone is right next to a concentration camp. Nazis are going to die!
Without giving too much more of the plot away the rest of the story concentrates on the efforts to locate the Nazi bunker that contains the super weapon and includes a lot more Nazi killing, some gratuitous nudity and the irresistible inclusion of Hitler. Unfortunately they take it a little too far with Hitler at the story’s conclusion and have some pretty flimsy “wrapping it all up” explanations to boot.
Time Bomb was compelling enough that I sat down and read my copy cover to cover in one sitting. If you are looking for a bit of escapist fun and don’t require a lot of complex drama in your entertainment maybe you can find Time Bomb in the discount rack and give it a whirl. If nothing else I can promise you you’ll get your fill of Nazi-killing action.