STAN LEE'S THE TRAVELER 1
Written by Mark Waid and Illustrated by Chad Hardin
Published by BOOM! Studios
Reviewed by Avril Brown
From the brilliant comic book minds of Stan ‘The Man’ Lee and Mark ‘He Who Writes Kick Ass Books’ Waid comes THE TRAVELER, a new superhero book about a mysterious cloaked gentleman who has the ability to manipulate time. The Traveler, also known as Kronus, just happens to arrive on the scene of strange, destructive happenings caused by people he calls the split-second men and rescues seemingly random bystanders from gruesome deaths utilizing his mad skills and a sarcastic wit.
When it comes to new superhero titles what truly matters is not necessarily fresh new powers, but rather novel and engaging protagonists and a script that can hold its own. With that in mind, THE TRAVELER has captured my attention. Starting with one of these supposed ‘random’ victims of the split-second men’s violent tendencies, it is clear from the beginning the villain is targeting her specifically and Kronus’s (a name the damsel in distress assumed was his due to a frayed patch on his costume) spot on timing is somewhat suspicious.
While the mystery surrounding the reason why Kronus and the split-second men are plaguing the people of Richmond, Virginia is intriguing, it is Kronus himself that will keep me coming back. Though he has the superhero tendency to monologue, an occasionally necessary evil (especially in a premier issue) in order to get the lay of the land, he also has no qualms about insulting the people he is rescuing and injecting a smidgeon of humor in the situation. Hardin’s artwork supports the story style as well, and the tricky time-warp scenes are done with clarity and finesse. The last, gruesome panel is a good cliff-hanger ending and a great way to kick off the series. I am going to keep an eye on THE TRAVELER to see how the mystery unravels and how this saucy new hero, who clearly knows more than he lets on, develops.