Kang the Conqueror finds himself on the run across the future of the Marvel universe in Timeless #1, a compelling issue that sets up future stories.
- Jed MacKay
- Patch Zircher, Salvador Larroca, Greg Land, Jay Leisten
- Ariana Maher
- Cover Artist:
- Kael Ngu
- Release Date:
- Frank D’Armata
Timeless #1 is a new 52-page one-shot from Marvel Comics following Kang the Conqueror as he searches for the one thing he cannot have. Though Kang can travel anywhere and anytime in the Marvel universe, the Missing Moment has eluded him. This issue finds him in the midst of his endless pursuit of that moment, but he’s not the only one searching for that moment in time and the prize that accompanies it. His search puts him on the run, and the backdrop of his adventure gives readers glimpses into the near future of the Marvel universe. Timeless #1, written by Jed MacKay with art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Patch Zircher, and Salvador Larroca, colors by Frank D’Armata, and letters by Ariana Maher delivers, an exciting time-traveling story that illuminates what’s to come in the near future at Marvel.
In his pursuit of the Missing Moment, Kang finds himself in conflict with the mysterious Myrddin. Myrddin is seeking the same ends as Kang and has created genetically engineered futuristic versions of the classic Knights of the Round Table to battle Kang. The Missing Moment eludes Kang because it’s not a moment that can be simply traveled to. Rather, it presents itself when a particular set of moments unfold before it, unlocking the moment in time. Kang has been told the moment is not meant for him, a villain, and is only available to heroes. Naturally, Kang refuses to accept this answer.
MacKay’s voice for Kang is phenomenal. Kang is so utterly sure of himself and prepared for every situation, even when facing new obstacles. It fits the character like a glove and is relentlessly entertaining to read. On top of nailing Kang, the narrative at hand is extremely compelling. What Kang is after and what it means for the larger Marvel universe is a fascinating mystery. The adversaries Kang faces are also well-written and such fully realized characters that they allow the story of Timeless #1 to leave a truly great impression.
Across the board, the art of Timeless #1 is stellar. It’s difficult to discern which artist handled which pages, which is a testament to the coherence and consistency of the entire book. Both Kang and the futuristic Knights of the Round Table have fantastic designs that are immediately eye-catching. The action is hard-hitting and easy to follow. Most importantly, the time-traveling pages are mesmerizing and pack in a ton of details and hints at the future landscape of the Marvel universe. Panel layouts are inventive, and displays of power are creative and visually captivating.
D’Armata’s colors also shine on each page. Kang’s purple and green outfit is always striking. His armor’s ability to materialize weapons and objects, as well as teleport him through time, gives off a brilliant glow. The colors throughout are smooth and work to elevate the already great art to another level. Maher’s lettering is consistently strong as well. Some characters are given unique speech bubbles and text, adding to their personalities and making them stand out from the rest. Altogether, the art, colors, and lettering of Timeless #1 elevate an already compelling issue.
Timeless #1 is surprisingly simple in its approach but covers a lot of ground. Kang is the primary focus, and the story benefits from that clarity. Though it teases some things for the future of Marvel, the issue isn’t overly concerned with being heavy-handed in its setup for stories to come. Kang is one of Marvel’s strongest and most unique characters, and this issue proves why he’s so iconic. With Timeless #1, MacKay and the rest of the creative team deliver a brilliantly plotted character piece that also sets the board for Marvel stories to come in 2023.