Comics, Reviews

Time Before Time #28 Advanced Review: Time Runs Out

Dive into the penultimate issue of Time Before Time, the time-hopping adventure created by Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville!

Time Before Time #28 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:13 AM

Time Before Time #28

Review
Rating
9
Good
Time Before Time #28 Full Cover

Writer: Rory McConville and Declan Shalvey

Artist: Geoffo

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Format: Single-issue

In its penultimate issue, "Time Before Time" delivers a fast-paced story packed with intense action sequences, surprise twists, and big emotional payoffs.

It’s always bitter-sweet knowing when a series is coming to a close. With the clock winding down on Rory McConville and Declan Shalvey’s phenomenal comic “Time Before Time,” this penultimate issue delivers a wild story that encapsulates what makes it a killer sci-fi series. Everything from the intense action scenes to the slick character writing packs a bigger punch as the time-hopping adventure builds up to its emotional finale.

But before I get into my review, I’d like to thank Declan for providing me with an early copy of issue #28 to give you readers a glimpse of what’s coming in the penultimate chapter. So buckle up as I dive into some Time Before Time!

Tatsuo and Kevin plan

Overview

Tatsuo and Kevin race against time to save Nadia from the clutches of the Syndicate. Because they were too late to warn her about the ambush, the two time-hoppers are low on options for getting her back safely. Tatsuo decides to make a risky play while Kevin rushes to Syndicate headquarters. Will it pay off?

Meanwhile, Nadia and Marston finally come face-to-face. But pleasantries don’t last long as the plans of Kevin and Tatsuo are set into motion. It's amidst the pandemonium that another player reveals themselves from the shadows. The Syndicate, after all, has made a habit out of making plenty of enemies across time.

Nadia Finally Meets Marston

Comic Review

With #28 being the penultimate issue of the series, I came into it expecting fireworks as the story races to its finale. It did not disappoint. There’s no dull moment throughout this thrilling issue. One of the most compelling scenes is the long-awaited meeting between Nadia and Martson. It’s as tense as you can imagine, with Marston being as slimy and ruthless as ever. While their conversation is brief, the banter between them contextualizes how far things have come since the beginning of the series. Then just as the confrontation reaches its peak, the comic hits you with probably one of the best action sequences of the whole series. As jarring as that break-neck pacing sounds, the story has a natural progression that keeps you engaged from moment to moment. It all builds up to a foreboding cliffhanger that teases what's to come for the series’ emotional finale.

Something I’ve loved about the series is how it avoids the usual time-traveling pitfall of making diverging timelines the crux of the story. It’s reminiscent of the film Looper in how it does not even bother dwelling on the concept of alternate timelines. Time Before Time goes as far as making an in-universe explanation as to why altered timelines can’t happen. It has helped keep the story focused on telling a compelling, straightforward narrative driven by its fascinating cast of characters. Now that the story is reaching the end of its road, this issue is packed with satisfying conclusions to story threads that have been building up since the first arc. Merv, a side character for most of the series, even plays a surprisingly big role in this issue that has a massive payoff. While we’re not necessarily at the finish line yet, the way parts of the story wrap up in this issue bodes well for the series to stick the landing at the finale.

This issue also has artist Geoffo doing his best work for the series. He may not have been my favorite among the incredible artists featured throughout the series, but this issue shows off his strong artistic range. While the action sequences are top-notch, the details that really amplify the big moments are the nuanced character expressions. From the tension between Nadia and Marston to the sternness of Tatsuo's eyes, you get a clear sense of the emotions that flow within each scene. These details make the payoffs all the more satisfying throughout the issue.

An explosive finish

Final Thoughts

Time Before Time has been a wild ride of a series with its straightforward approach to classic time-travel tropes. Given how much Tatsuo, Nadia, and Kevin have all grown over time, a part of me feels gloomy about seeing these great characters end their story. But then there’s also the immense feeling of excitement for how everything wraps up. After this issue's massive emotional cliffhanger, I can’t wait to see what the comic has in store for its big finale.

Why You Should Read Time Before Time

  • Tatsuo, Nadia, and Kevin are all great characters whose stories you want to see finished.
  • The straightforward approach to time travel keeps the story easy to follow.
  • This issue wraps up story threads while building up to the emotional finale. 
  • The series boasts a collective of artists who all bring to life a fascinating world.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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