"Transference #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Ron Salas
2015, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 8th, 2015
Time travel. It's an incredibly complex idea that leads to a multitude of stories, not to mention an even larger amount of paradoxes and pitfalls. You can go back in time and kill your own grandfather, thus nullifying your own existence. More importantly, you could have the power to kill Hitler before he became such a douchebag. One thing is certain though, in the wrong hands time travel could be a very dangerous weapon. Colton Moss and his crew work to make sure that doesn't happen. Unfortunately, it looks like a terrorist has just gotten his hands on the prized tech that would enable him to jump through time. Shit just got real.
Transference jumps right into the action-adventure side of time travel. The issue opens with a train wreck, but it's a literal one, not figurative. As the story progresses, we get an idea of what a day-to-day life is like for Colton and his team. They're given assignments like an FBI agent, but they're tasked to make some sort of change to the time stream, be it maintenance or an adjustment made at the request of a high paying client. Any such alteration must be properly vetted. They can't just jump in there and start messing stuff up. There's the butterfly effect to consider. Reuniting a pair of lost loved ones might be great for them, but you could come back to the present to find that Ashton Kutcher is the supreme emperor of the world.
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Colton is a trained expert, able to see flaws in the timeline and combat them. He's cool under pressure. He's basically like Jason Bourne, but without all that memory loss and he travels through time. OK, it's not as much like The Bourne Identity as I thought it was initially. Just go with it for a sec. What I'm getting at is that Colton is the smooth action hero. He's James Bond without all the STDs.
The concept of a time-traveling terrorist is pretty disturbing. It's one thing for someone to blow up a building or assassinate a government official. It's quite another to be able to wipe someone from existence. That's a scary amount of power. You can imagine the tension when the creator of this technology has been kidnapped. The team must rush into action, fearing the secrets that are being shared with some very bad men. We get a glimpse of what this villain is capable of by the end of the issue and it really ups the stakes, while also making the case incredibly personal to Colton. Writer Michael Moreci delivers a closing few pages that will make you say “Damn.”
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Artist Ron Salas provides some pretty awesome action scenes. The aforementioned opening train crash is packed with adrenaline as explosions rock the tracks with Colton and his team searching for answers nearby. There's this one panel with Colton looking out the window of his car with the reflection of the train in flames within it. It's a natural effect that I rarely see in comics. I imagine it's difficult to pull off correctly.
In contrast, some of the calmer scenes have rather bland backgrounds, featuring generic props or buildings. It's like they're just thrown in there. While this isn't the focus of these pages, it gives the impression that there's nothing else going on in these scenes, which is far from the truth.
Transference mixes time travel and action in the same manner as Looper. Unlike that film, you don't have to look at Bruce Willis' bald head for 2 hours. Plus, the conflict feels so much more personal here. Is this what could happen if you piss of the wrong people in the future? Could aspects of your life be completely removed? How far would you go to get them back?