"The Accelerators #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Blue Juice Comics
Written by R.F.I. Porto
Illustrated by Gavin P. Smith
2013, 32 Pages
Comic originally released in May 2013
Time travel is perhaps the most complicated and intriguing element of science fiction that has been thought up. Sure you have robots and aliens, but those are really just different forms of monsters. Traveling through time deals with the science part of sci-fi even if it's all make-believe. I'm convinced that I could drive into the future if I could get my hands on a flux capacitor and a DeLorean. The Accelerators, a book from new publisher Blue Juice Comics, sets out to put a new spin on the idea.
Written by R.F.I. Porto, the first issue of The Accelerators opens with a gladiatorial arena filled with gory battles. The contestants are not what you'd expect though. Instead of your basic Romans, they're people from all different times. A gangster fights a knight. A Nazi stormtropper fights a caveman. A Red Coat wages war against a conquistador. All of this happens while a crowd of people cheers from the stands.
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As if that wasn't interesting enough to start it off, the book then jumps to a chase scene as a scientist named Alexa flees from a military man named Bertram. Instead of running through the streets or racing cars, they're traveling through time thanks to a small circular device. Every time Alexa thinks she's gotten far enough away, Bertram is right behind her. This all sounds cool, right? Here's the kicker though, the thing that makes The Accelerators stand out within the genre: You can only go forward. Alexa and Bertram and jumping decades ahead in time and they can never go back. It's a one way trip. The idea of going forward in time to the point where everyone you ever knew is long dead is terrifying.
This opens up so many questions. How did this technology come to be? Why is Alexa running and where is she hoping to go? Or when? How does the arena play into this? This first issue is a great origin story. It's the kind of thing that drops just enough information to grab you and never let you go. I picked up this comic at New York Comic Con and went back the next day to buy the next two issues (reviews for those are coming soon).
This pursuit was dangerous enough with the time travel and the collateral damage that occurs when each person lands in the new timeframe. Things get more complicated when Alexa picks up a passenger. Now she has to protect herself as well as this innocent guy who was just trying to help her out.
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Gavin P. Smith's artwork only adds to The Accelerators, from the variety in contestants within the arena at the beginning to the ever-changing times as Alexa and Bertram jump forward. There's an impressive attention to detail as well. The chase spends a few pages within the '90s and there are several subtle references to the time period such as an “Eat My Shorts” t-shirt and a guy that could be A.C. Slater. The time machine itself is great in its simplicity. It is little more than a glowing disc, like a big radioactive donut. It seems easy enough to use as it's triggered with little to no effort, sometimes accidentally.
I've actually been following the story of The Accelerators for a few months thanks to the I Sell Comics podcast. It was here that the creators took their idea and made it into an actual comic. Everything from printing costs to distribution was discussed, so I was excited to check out this book. Fortunately, the comic delivered. This is now a ten-issue series and I'm definitely in it for the remainder of the story because I have to see where it goes next.