Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Just a matter of time

"Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted." Aristotle

Time is an enemy of human life.  The more it passes the older we get.  Since life on earth comes with a final end point, we measure time, with extravagant concern, and we crawl through life furtively, as if, we might escape its fate.

But does time really exist?  Isn't it a concept that allows our minds to understand why we age?  So, is there a past that can be reached by the present?  How could that be?  I've seen a great many comics about time travel.  I understand the point of them all, but, Doctor Who and all of these stories aside, I am not certain anything could be done to visit past ages.

And why the hell would anyone want to?  I am 53 years old, I have survived two blown appendixes, yes two, staph infection of my heart WHILE I was getting chemo for CANCER.  I had thyroid disease and treatment.  And on 4 occasions doctors told me You should be dead.  If I went back in time, I guarantee you, something would happen to me, and I'd die.  They don't have doctors that could save me, they don't have space heaters, they don't have internet, they don't have comic books.  So I don't want to go.  But all of the characters in the shown images did want to, and their stories are found here.

TIME BEAVERS was a hoot.  Perhaps naive in its outlook, it is an adventure that goes from 17th century France to the Lincoln Presidency, Hitler's Germany, finally to the Great Dam of Time.  The Time Beavers are warriors, of a sort who protect the time stream, and the various threads of potential crisis.  The graphic novel is fun, but better illustrated than written.  The concept is silly, but with a name like Time Beavers were you expecting anything else? 

The story revolves around a time traveller named Ace who often has to risk life and limb to save the timestream.  A 23rd Century man, Ace is a world traveler, and a time traveling world traveler.  From Ancient times to the future he tries to make the timestream flow correctly.Aztec Ace used a pseudonym when in different eras, occasionally T.A. Zek.  His time in Ancient Egypt and Maya and Aztec Mexico showed his interest in things cosmic.  And he encounter an ugly bastich called Nine Crocodile, who wished to unravel the present and past, to leave only limbo, his personal realm.  The stories are fun, and, if you like metafiction, they are rewarding for the way the writer inserts the lead character into scenes of movies from the eras he travels to.

Rip Hunter was a DC comics 1960s weird science character.  He was not a super hero, rather  an ordinary man who uses his invention, the Time Sphere to visit other times. His friend Jeff, girlfriend Bonnie, and her brother Corky, there is a team of adventurerers.  This character and series was not boring, but it wasn't thoughtful.  It is the kind of comic you can read in the restroom and forget 10 minutes later what it was that you read.  Still, it has its charm.

Alan Moore was known to be a super writer following Swamp Thing.  But these are a variety of stories, with some level of quality from his (and others) 2000AD work.  The most interesting is the character Dr. Dibworthy.  The stories follow the time trips taken and the adventures that doing that leads to.  Some of the time travel happens only in the mind, but the rest are quite physical and some are quite funny.  (Actually, I think they are reprints from 2000AD, but can't remember, and don't have the comics nearby to check.)

The Chronos Files: Time Trial follows the adventure through time by a doctor of great time travelers, who had, incidentally, saved time.  She has some innate abilities regarding passing through time, and has the sensibilities of girl from 1931, but, her understanding that time is a path, not a stationary obstacle makes her more "worldly".  The stories are great, and deserve an audience.

The Time Breakers and The Black Lamb were the two best series that DC Imprint Helix put out.  Time Breakers features a team of unusual people who are dedicated to tie up the loose ends of time travel, extinguish paradoxes found in the stream, and seek a long term solution to the problem, the end of time itself.  I like Rachel Pollack's writing, and Chris Weston is so bloody good I can't even stand that he doesn't have a dozen more series out.

Although the character Chronos was originally a villain, this series is not about that version of the character.  This Chronos, with the civilian name of Walker Gabriel, was revealed to be the son of a temporal theorist who had worked with the original Chronos.  The father also created Chronopolis, the city beyond time. This series takes a character who had very little nobility in him, to negating time lines that were going to cause a horrible tragedy with his acts.  In the end his decisions even affect his existence in time.  A thoughtful series, worth a read.

I liked Timespirits.  I didn't love it, but it was an entertaining ride about an elder with knowledge of more than the present world, and a youth from his era.  The elder travels about, and finds in the youth a great talent for being a time spirit.  They go about their adventures visiting eras and places, and not necessarily leaving them unchanged.  The art is beautiful, and the story rather fun.

Tempus edax rerum
Time, the devourer of all things

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