Retroactive graphic novel review

From Ibrahim Moustafa writer and artist. Brad Simpson, cover artist. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, letterer. Published by Humanoids. 

Tarik Abdelnasser works for the U.S. Bureau of Temporal Affairs. Time travel is real, and is known. Unfortunately it’s known by most of the world powers, and they don’t all have the same agenda. Some moments have to happen, even if they’re awful. Some can be changed. But who is deciding those things? Tarik gets stuck figuring this out and is now in a time loop where he lives and dies over and over again. 

Ibrahim does a masterful job here of ensuring that every bit of script and art keeps the story moving in a clear way. His notes at the end to keep the time travel straight were enlightening. Tarik and his new partner Lucia Olmos have to look into some anomalies in the timeline. While the usual agents they work alongside and ones from other countries leave signatures, this new player is a ghost traveling through the past. Tarik gets stuck trying to take down this rogue jumper and has to die and come back, learning a little bit more each time in order to hopefully save all the days. 

Time travel stories always have rules about changing too much in the past. Even your own death in the past could change the future. I’ve never seen this restart feature before though. Die, go back to where you started, and try again. Time travel with video game save points. Those points would become memorable. Probably even a way for others to know where and when you’ll be. It’s cliche to say tomorrow isn’t guaranteed but these time jumps become so dangerous, yesterday isn’t guaranteed either. 

This is one of the more original time travel stories I’ve seen in any kind of media for a long time. Well worth figuring out who the real evil is and when to stop them.

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