Chronos Commandos Cover
Created, Written and Illustrated by: Stuart Jennett
Logo Design and Lettering Assist by: Donna Jennett
Edited by: Andrew James
On Sale August 14th
First impression: Wow. Second impression: Wow. This comic book is beautiful. The art is fantastic. I would hazard a guess that this is a labor of love. Stuart Jennett clearly, demonstrably, has remarkable talent and it is all on display in this issue.
Chronos Commandos: Dawn Patrol #1 is packed full of important backstory. The pages are dense with plot, dialogue and every scene is gorgeously realized. I confess that I almost passed on reviewing this comic because, well, it is kind of gory. Beautifully rendered but lots of death and blood and some guts.
For some inexplicable reason dinosaurs find military personnel delicious. Humans must be like the potato chips of the Cretaceous and men with guns are the hot-n-spicy flavored ones. I like time travel stories and this holds true across the spectrum.
The issue opens and closes with panels that show top secret, classified documents. The opening classified document establishes “Sarge” as being assigned to the Chronos Commandos. The closing document provides a more detailed description of what the project is and what their hopes are for it. I confess that I secretly hoped to see Project Rainbow included in the final list but I can understand why it was not. Perhaps that would have been too much. Also it would have gotten into a whole weird area mixing Tesla with Einstein. This wouldn’t have been just another, “you got chocolate in my peanut butter,” kind of thing. There is plenty going on with what the author has already. Rogue conspiracy theories were not necessary and this kind of restraint shows good self-editing on the part of the creator.
Warning some spoilers ahead. Tread lightly.
Our hero, “Sarge,” takes a crack team of commandos back to the far distant past to foil a Nazi plot to win WWII. Sarge is a bit sloppy about time travel theory. He’s just not into the whole “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey” stuff. He’s a man of action. This does not end well for the good guys. However, the story is beautifully thought out. You can see what’s happening and the results are quite right. There are so many things that could be red herrings. I’m really quite hooked. I want to see what Jennett does and where he takes the story.
During the course of their mission a T-Rex who clearly has a craving eats some of Sarge’s men. Possibly she’s a mother close to hatching out a clutch of little T-Rexes because she will go to any length to satisfy her craving for crunchy commandos. Did I mention a little bit gory? Yeah.
Sarge is a bit callous about the whole thing which points to some potential interesting inner conflicts in the future. He’s a big picture guy trying to save the world from evil. He doesn’t have time to worry about one or two guys who fall during the fight for freedom.
We also are given tantalizing hints to some past injury the Nazis have done him. He seems a bit obsessive about hunting down Nazis and stopping them. There really is a lot going on with this character. Subtle is not in his vocabulary. He starts the issue with three men. Two suffer death by dino and one dies at the hands of a Nazi due to a miscount. Although that begs the question—was it the previous mission, which they reference as making a mistake during that led to the Nazis changing history and thus leading to the miscount or were they just in a hurry and got sloppy? What a delicious question to leave the reader with.
Sarge does some things that perhaps a more savvy time traveller would not do and this possibly results in bad things happening. I’m not going to spoil everything for you but I will say that it’s really not good for history, as we know it.
As promised in the press release; Einstein himself, wild hair and all, is wielding a machine-gun when Sarge returns. This is bad. First of all, Einstein, historically, was a pacifist. To imagine that gentle scientist wielding a machine-gun hints at terrible things happening to the time stream.
I’m just not spoiling the ending for you. Suffice it to say that Sarge has to immediately hop back into his chrono sphere to fix some problems that involve Nazis who have turned the tables. In the course of this one issue Sarge went from having the edge, having intel before the Nazis to the Nazis knowing things they aught not to. Time travel, go figure. K.