Written and Drawn by Various
Published by Archaia Entertainment
Reviewed by Marc Mason
One of the more pleasing aspects to reviewing is the calm sense of satisfaction you feel when someone finds a theme or formula that works (and works splendidly) right out of the gate. DAYS MISSING delivers that sense of satisfaction. In a comics world obsessed with creating the perfect lead-in to an other-media project, this book not only achieves that perfection (as this would make for smashing television, as it uses the procedural format like it wrote the handbook) but it also works well solely as a comic, something that all too many of those types of projects fail to do.
DAYS tells the story of the missions of The Steward, a man who lives outside of the time-space continuum, dropping in solely when humanity reaches its lowest hours. When various doomsdays and armageddons get underway, The Steward shows up, does his best to clean up the mess, and then uses his powers to “fold” time and eliminate that particular twenty-four hour period (thus, the book’s title).
He’s been doing it throughout history. In this book we see him with Cortez in the 1500s. We see him at the Large Hadron Collider in 2008. He visits Mary Shelley in the 1800s. In short, he goes wherever he is needed in order to keep this planet on the right track.
The creative personnel that come together these stories are fantastic. Phil Hester, David Hine, Ian Edginton, Matz, Frazer Irving, Chris Burnham, Lee Moder and Hugo Petrus all have distinguished themselves in comics and they lend an air of added class to this project. In a certain way, it’s very necessary- in the procedural format, plot tends to take precedence over character and arc. And The Steward is a cipher, plugged in to fix the holes of the universe, not develop and grow. So to make this work, you need strong creators who can make the concept compelling enough to keep you reading.
The hardcover package is lovely, aided and abetted by a nifty intro from Warren Ellis, and a slew of bonus bits at the back including interviews, sketch work, covers, and more. Highly recommended.