As Dr. Hamm and the black-ops soldier Collins try to survive in the prehistoric past, the fierce warrior Nila and the chrononaut Joshua attempt to convince the rebel council to take up arms against the Tyrant before he releases a dangerous scourge and wipes them all from the face of the Meld!
The fun thing about time travel stories is that they don't have to make sense, as long as they provide an enjoyable narrative and a satisfying payoff to the initial set up. The second half of Rafael Alnuquerque and Mike Johnson's stellar time travelling pulp tale satisfies on both fronts.
This issue helps resolve a lot of the mystery surrounding the first few issues,whilst linking the differing time streams together into one. It's a tale that's broadly sketched in the best of possible terms, as Joshua and Nila form the emotional core of a piece where a literal Nazi villain faces off against a persecuted minority that acts as an amalgamation of all the different beliefs on nomadic life. It's to the scripts credit that it focuses more on action and keeping everything going than the broadly silly plot, but it also doesn't seem to be afraid of that more silly side either, embracing it and making it just another component of a winning story.
Thrown into this is Albuquerque's art, with its ragged, kinetic look. I've spoken praises about this before and I have to repeat it again. The way he makes all the different time periods work with the colouring is a masterclass in subtly- even scenes that don't show a skyline find a way to indicate what time period they are a part of, by utilising broad brushstrokes in the background or by incorporating it into the clothing of characters or a part of a key object. The effect is such that it's effortless to keep track of what is happening, something that is a lot easier said than done and which makes it all the more impressive.
If there are any down points, is that the story loses a bit of steam once the 4th issue draws to a close with the promise of a battle between the nomadic tribes and the Nazi lead armies. There was no real build up to it, nor really a chance to get to know the tribe itself, other than when they tried to impede the main characters progress. As such, suddenly asking us to care about them is perhaps a step too far.
Besides that though, I enjoyed both issues so much. With next issue being its final one, it's well worth checking out the other issues now. Even if the writing isn't up to much, those who like something visually attesting to look at won't be disappointed.
Cover image courtesy of Dark Horse
Ei8ht is available from Dark Horse.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.