Review: Time Samplers #1

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In the debut issue, Lex and Cal take a trip to Jekyll Island circa 1913 — the birthplace of the Federal Reserve. Here they must fight off hordes of sheeple as they uncover the plans of Alexander Graham Bell, JP Morgan, William Rockefeller, and other elites.

We’ve got yet another review from Comixology’s Submit releases for you today. This time we have Time Samplers. The story is created by Thomas Gorence and is written by Gorence with David Pinckney and Erik Koconis. Nicolas Colacitti handles pencils, inks, colors, and letters. So is Time Samplers worth taking a bite out of or not?

time samplers coverA mysterious figure stands in front of a bank of monitors. He is watching people in a shopping mall. As he carries on a bit of grandiose internal monologue, he tells the group at the computer banks to begin the process. Through some science-y means the masses at the mall are hit with some high frequencies that cause them to go on a buying frenzy. This is just the first step, a test, as the mysterious evil looking man furthers his plan. We then cut to a pawn shop where three guys are watching the mall scene unfold on the news. A man on the computer screen is explaining what is happening and that they have to try to stop it. The pawn shop owner gives the two men, who we learn are Lex and Cal, a special tuning fork that belonged to Alexander Graham Bell. The scientist speaking to the duo over the computer can use the object owned by Graham Bell to send them off to a copy of the past so they can see how Graham Bell discovered these frequencies can control people. Caland Lex are off to a copy of the past they can interact with without having to worry about causing any rippled effects. They find Graham Bell in control of a lot of henchmen called Sheeple (literally sheep who are like people). They have to fight their way through the sheeple to get to Graham Bell and figure out what’s going on. But can the machine that sent them back withstand all the changes Lex and Cal are causing?

Gorence, Pinckney and Koconis write a really weird and wacky story. It’s a conspiracy theory fueled romp that tackles mass consumerism as driven by the secret illuminati-like figure at the introduction. It starts out really well and introduces our villain in a great way, but then our heroes enter and everything kind of falls apart. After a large bit of exposition on what Cal and Lex are going to do, they go and fight a naked Alexander Graham Bell and his sheeple. It feels like I might have missed an issue or two before this one even though it’s #1. We are just kind of thrown in on the story of our two underground musician characters while we learn a tiny amount of details about them over the course of the story. It’s got a lot of crazy ideas and the Bell/Sheeple stuff is funny, but the product addressing drug culture and conspiracies seems more jumbled and confused than a man huddle in a bunker with a tinfoil hat.  The art is really good. It’s psychedelic and very cartoony. The highly enjoyable art is the saving grace of the book.

Bottom Line: Time Samplers is a wacky idea that presents several great moments. It’s kind of a jumbled first issue, but it show enough promise to pique the interest and warrant a return trip. It’s fun and it’s crazy. It seems like they throw it all out there for the debut, so hopefully things start to get a little tighter in round two. 2.5/5


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