Comic Review: Earthdivers #1 (IDW Publishing)

From IDW, Earthdivers #1 takes us to the future, where things are grim. Okay, the world in 2112 (wait, are you a Rush fan??) is a mess, and the only […]

From IDW, Earthdivers #1 takes us to the future, where things are grim.

Okay, the world in 2112 (wait, are you a Rush fan??) is a mess, and the only way to fix the USA is for someone to travel back in time to kill Christopher Columbus! You see, “bad” water is rising and causing flooding in the US, but “good waters” in the US have gone away. Rocket ships have taken a lot of people to somewhere better.

Writer Stephen Graham Jones gets us in a cave in the mountainous desert of the US with a group of aboriginals, who send a guy back in time through a magic time travel portal. So now, our guy who travels from 2112 has landed on an island off Spain, where Cristofero Columbo and his crew are making ready for their ocean voyage to the New World. And new guy must fit it, join the efforts of the fearless crew, or the future will be lost.

It’s an opaque beginning and told in a convoluted way. Jones mixes past and present tense from ‘time to time’ (haha) and sometimes puzzles us with scenes that occur without sufficient explanation (who are these aboriginals and what are these books and bottles they refer to, why them and stuff like that?). The trope is a standard time travel concept, and the apocalyptic setting is a bit shopworn, but Jones breathes new life and drama into Earthdivers.

David Gianfelice’s artwork is well suited to such an expedition. The environments are splendid, the boats are a rockin’, the fists are a flyin’, the Jolly Roger seems just a flap away. There are panels carved with precision, figures moving in all ways and means. Occasionally the ‘artistic’ license gets a bit too free, making me stop in mid-page to puzzle about what I am looking at. But those moments are few and far between. Colouring by Joana Lafuente is capable, but a bit murky in terms of recognizing foreground and background, again slowing down the reading experience. Letters are by Steve Wands.

I like it but I feel a bit confused as I read this book. The time traveller lands on a ship and can understand 1400s Spanish and Portuguese, and the Spaniards instantly recognize his 2112 US slang as “English”. Okay, I am still along for the ride, but I am now wearing my life preserver, may the Saints Preserve Us!! On with the show, this is it!

IDW, Earthdivers #1, $3.99 for 30 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!