A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose (Albert Einstein: Time Mason #1 Comic Review)

Story and Art by Tony Donley
Script by Marcus Perry
Edited by Kris Simon
Cover by Dave Johnson
Variant Cover by Tony Donley

Action Lab Comics’ new release, Albert Einstein: Time Mason, follows the originator of the Theory of Relativity through time itself in his pursuit to protect the course of history as we know it from blackguards intent upon changing it for their own evil means.

In This Issue: We join Mr. Einstein in New Jersey in the year 2214 in the middle of a shootout in the Sci-Oscalists’ headquarters. Einstein followed them there via a linear breach in 1955 left by a thief—a thief who stole Einstein’s own brain from Princeton Hospital. (Don’t panic, it wasn’t in Einstein’s head at the time.) The villain, a vertically challenged megalomaniac called—wait for it—Dr. Rupret Stiltzkin, is determined to using Einstein’s brain to bolster the computing abilities of his time robot. He intends to return to the dawn of man and enslave the entire human race. Einstein fights off Dr. Stiltzkin’s entire brute squad, including Stiltzkin’s dominatrix-esque second-in-command, single-handedly. In a flurry of clear, quick, physics-based thinking, Einstein recovers his brain and destroys the time robot before using his Time Mason pocket watch to activate a temporal displacement to zap himself back to 1937. After a quick telling-off from his secretary for bringing a brain into the office and being late to teach his seminar, Einstein has a good think as he walks to his lecture hall. What did the brain-theif have to do with the Sci-Oscalists? How did he—or she—make the leap forward in history? We’ll just have to wait and see.

My Two Cents: If you enjoy quippy banter with a campy bent and a plethora of puns, you will enjoy this book. The story is cohesive, the dialogue flows (yes, even the campy parts), and the characters don’t stray so far from credibility that they become caricatures—it keeps you interested in spite of the silliness. The art is a fantastic homage to the Silver Age, but thanks to advances in comic art technology the pictures are clear and sharp. Additionally, there is some play with textures throughout the book that give it a more three-dimensional look. The colors are appropriate to their time frames; 2214 is represented in bold, bright, sharp hues whereas 1937 is more sedate and earthy. The action flows smoothly from panel to panel, maintaining continuity.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
Albert Einstein: Time Mason is just my kind of whack-a-doodle. It's reminiscent of both Roger Moore's James Bond and any episode of Star Trek where the crew got stuck in a holodeck simulation—it's got gadgets and history and it weaves them together in an amusing and entertaining manner. While the story is a little predictable, I'm happy to overlook it because it's such a fun read. In the course of writing this review I read the book several times and each time I found a new Easter Egg—I won't spoil them for you, you can find them for yourselves. In addition to the Easter Eggs, at the end of the book there is a 'Mason Memo'—page of fun facts about the history surrounding the story. After that is a page on the character and design of Einstein, and after that is a short and rather silly conversation between Marcus Perry and Tony Donley about the journey of the project from idea to comic book. I will leave you with the thought that kept popping into my head as I was reading this book: When they option the rights to Netflix to make this into a miniseries, I will be mortally offended if they don't cast Bruce Campbell as Einstein.
Good
  • Fun, interesting story
  • Excellent combination of truth and fiction
  • Fascinating color palate
  • Quirky artistic details
Bad
  • Story is a bit predictable
8.8
Great
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 9
Predictability - 8
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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