The Revisionist #1
Writer: Frank Barbiere
Artist: Garry Brown
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Cover: Garry Brown
Right out of the gate The Revisionist hits the ground running. Martin Monroe is in the middle of taking out his target and though we don’t know exactly what this guy did to deserve it you’re hoping you’re rooting for the right guy here. Before things get too confusing Barbiere pulls the story back to the present day where we meet a slightly different Martin Monroe. He’s a prison inmate with a surprisingly genuine nice side. We don’t get to know why he’s incarcerated but it doesn’t matter because he’s getting out soon due to some information trading. Which we all know is not anything you want to be known for when in prison. This is when things get pretty wild as Martin receives a message from his father letting him know when he’ll die and that he needs to get out.
The Revisionist touches on several familiar time travel/false reality stories but Barbiere keeps the story fun and simple here. It’s this simplicity that also keeps us from the usual time travel story headaches and confusion. As far as the characters are concerned we seem to be getting a solid and likeable lead even if he doesn’t stand out too much from the crowd. Deep down Martin is a nice guy and you might even question if he was wrongly incarcerated at first. But he’s got a dark side which Barbiere hints at in the opening action sequence. Also during a pivotal moment in the story Barbiere gives us a glimpse into the relationship between Martin and his father. This is going to come into play pretty heavy as it seems their connection is strained and more so on Martin’s end.
Gary Brown’s opening action sequence is futuristic but gritty and I like it. We get Marty showing off some of the advanced weapons with his voice activated gun and footwear. The entire fight moves pretty well from panel to panel and really builds until it’s time to visit present day. From here there’s a nice visual pacing of the story along with some decent character moments. Things really start to look good when Martin opens his package and we are thrust into pages of bright flashes of colors, giant floating heads, and panels arrangements that help enhance the art and the moments taking place. When the book looks this good in parts unfortunately it makes it easier to see the parts that don’t hold up as well. There’s a tense scene where punches are thrown but the characters look stiff and uncomfortable which takes away from the impact of the moment. The latter one helps to make up for this when we see Marty get a bit of revenge. Everything goes to red during the fight and then we get a close up of the eye and you just know it’s not going to end well. This also hints at that dark side without having to pause and explain anything in the narrative.
Overall The Revisionist is yet another fun outing from Aftershock and should be on your radar if you’re into time travel or sci-fi stories. Aside from the familiar world this plays in, Barbiere and Brown are making this their own and making sure you have some fun along the way. And if you pay attention you’ll recognize the nod to another time traveler most of us are familiar with!