PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Big Time Fun in 'Chrononauts #2'

Chrononauts is a thrill ride that embraces the time travel genre while turning it on its head. It is big time fun.

Chrononauts #2

Publisher: Image
Writer: Mark Millar, Sean Gordon Murphy
Publication Date: 2015-06

Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly, they've gone back in time.

They've gone back to Samarkand in 1504 and to bloody, bloody war; back to Paris in 1961 when Jean-Paul Sartre pondered being and nothingness; back to Egypt in 3000 B.C., the time of the Pharoahs. They've gone back to Japan in 1220, the age of the Shogun; back to New York in 1929, before the fall in the age of Gatsby. They've gone back 65 million years to the age of the dinosaurs then back 530 million years to witness the first mammal crawl to the land from the sea. They've gone back to Bethlehem, to a starry night when all the inns were full and miracles happened in stables dark.

And they've gone back and back and back again not to uncover secrets lost, not for the sake of scientific curiosity, not to better humanity in the present day, not to right some wrong, to stop some evil, to remedy some sin.

They’re no Ebeneezer Scrooge on a spiritual journey to the past to learn some big life lesson. They're no Kitty Pride (or Wolverine) traveling back in time to alter history's terrible end. They're no Marty McFly trying to set things right before lighting strikes the town clock. They're no Enterprise crew out to save the future by saving the whales and changing the past.

As a matter of fact, they’re not worried at all, not worried that what they do in the past will have implications for the future to come. They're not worried that their actions might change the course of history, might change the timeline so that nothing will ever again be the same.

No, Quinn and Reilly have thrown aside all the things we think we know about time travel from decades of science fiction and comicbooks. So far they haven't learned any important lessons. They haven't changed the past to save the future. They're not watching every step they take to make sure that they don't inadvertently cause the South to win the Civil War, or Hitler to harness the power of the atomic bomb, or their own parents to never get married and thus their own births to never occur, thus creating a paradox so profound that all of reality winks out of existence because of it.


Quinn and Reilly, they're having fun.

They'd have saved Edith Keeler and then taken her dancing.

Their time travel suits not only allow them to travel through time but also allow them to take anything they want along with them. So, tanks and artillery go back to the 16th century and fighter jets go back to the days of the dinosaur. It's a brilliant concept that opens up a world of opportunities for the chrononauts and a world of possibilities for the storytellers.

And just like that, they're kings of the world, lords of time.

But they don't rule from some timeless nexus beyond all reality, bending everything to their will. They're no Kang, eternally threatening the cosmos (and pestering the Avengers ) for the sake of power.


They're cheating at card games. Giving inappropriate gifts to the newborn Jesus. Drinking. Dating. Sightseeing the history of the world. Having a blast.

And I'm loving every minute of it.

Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy are having a good time with their new series from Image and it shows. Millar's story and dialogue are fast moving and loose. And the characters of Quinn and Reilly are at once both charming and infuriating. From the very first issue, I wanted to follow these guys wherever they wanted to take me.

And Murphy manages to capture the spirit of the times, from the dinosaur age to the jazz age, from battlefields to exotic palaces. His style is a perfect match for these roguish characters and this equally roguish tale.

Chrononauts is a thrill ride that embraces the time travel genre while turning it on its head. It is big time fun, consequences be damned.

Of course, I know that it probably won't last and that sooner or later the characters will have to grow and that lessons will have to be learned. Actions will have consequences, they always do.

But I hope that doesn't happen too quickly. I hope they enjoy themselves for a good long while before things get complicated. Quinn has a look in his eye in one panel that has me worried, but surely he'll come around.

For now, though, Quinn and Reilly are having a blast. And why shouldn’t they? They've got all the time in the world.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.


Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.


Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.


Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.