Written and Illustrated by: Stuart Jennett
There is a huge dinosaur and some army guys on the cover, and by the looks of it, Nazis are hiding somewhere. At least that is the feeling you get when you first pick up Chronos Commandos. Open up further, and wait, is that Albert Einstein with a machine gun? Yes, indeed it is. This issue is packed with a lot of flashy action, bright artistry, and a really insane time-travel plot, but there is just so much going on that it is really hard to keep up. Thank goodness there is a lengthy prologue paragraph to explain everything before you get too far into the book.
With all that is going on at once, the character development has been left up to the reader to fill in with familiar archetypes such as a brash rough-around-the-edge commanding officer affectionately called “Sarge”. Then of course add in the super smart scientist Albert Einstein, who is just crazy enough to hang with Sarge, and you have Stargate during World War II with dinosaurs. Or maybe its the Dirty Dozen with Albert Einstein and dinosaurs trying to kill Hitler while they travel through time? All of this being thrown at the reader in the first issue, and it is hard to tell whether or not the familiarity is a welcome distraction.
However, the artwork is really good. The detail that went into creating the dinosaurs makes them leap off the page, and truly come to life in the imagination. The backgrounds are so well designed that they make you wish that Jennett had put that much effort into his character creation. To go along with the nondescript human facial features, and entire squad under Sarge’s command is obliterated in the first 4 pages. There isn’t much value placed on human life in this comic, at least judging from Sarge’s hardened battle worn attitude towards their deaths when Einstein asks what happened to the rest of the squad.
Despite all of this, Chronos Commandos is worth the read, if just for the artwork alone. However, there is the hint that there is another larger story brewing behind the flashy action sequences when you get to the appearance of the Nazi’s, the pages of redacted memos that discuss genetic mutations, and the Chronosphere Core itself that is at the heart of project Watchmaker. Also, if you just like seeing dinosaurs eat up a bunch of military men then yes, this is the comic for you.