Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Michael Walsh
Anybody who’s seen, read, or played anything with a time travel concept knows the one threat that’s always lurking in the background: overcomplication. A normal plot can get significantly complicated when a character’s future self is running around, characters are hopping around time, and you’re never quite sure what happened. Sadly, Comeback’s interesting premise and plot fall into this problem.
Mark and Seth are both workers for Reconnect, a company that, when paid a couple million dollars by a client, goes back in time and saves a person from their death. Unfortunately, time travel businesses like this also fall under the watch of the FBI, and things get worse when an internal manhunt starts for somebody in Reconnect who’s leaking information to the FBI.
And yes, things do get complicated and convoluted. And when things in this book are going well, it means that you’re glad when the pieces come together and you understand what’s happening. When things aren’t going well…well, at one point, a character’s future self visits his past self, it’s difficult to tell them apart as they look almost exactly the same, and it’s difficult to tell what was even accomplished. This happens a lot in Comeback. A subplot will get brought up, there will be a big reveal in it, and then nothing. It doesn’t affect the plot at all. Reconnect has its own evil agenda, but ultimately, it’s hard to tell why they have this agenda or what the reader really gets out of knowing their agenda. There was simply too much here for a 5-issue miniseries. This should’ve been a full series.
And yes, I do mean should’ve. Because when Comeback isn’t falling to problems mainly related to its length, it’s an actually interesting premise. There’s a whole world that’s built in here, there’s a collection of interesting characters, the way certain time travel tropes happen is done well. Michael Walsh’s art brings it all together well. His art style is sketchy, almost unfinished, but very definitive. Besides the one instance of two versions of the same character talking to each other, the characters are very easily recognizable, and he brings the low-tech sci-fi to life.
If there’s one thing this collection is not lacking, it’s extras. There’s a collection of sketches of the cover which go into the process of how important a cohesive cover design across a miniseries can be. There’s a design process of script-to-page, which is interesting. Character profiles and sketches are shown that get into how the book was formed, and there’s even the original pitch for the series, with a note pointing out the changes that were made from pitch to the finished product. If nothing else, if you want a good insight into the comics creation process, Comeback delivers on that.
On the one hand, Comeback is worth reading for the interesting time travel premise. Unfortunately, it’s bogged down by pointless subplots that bloat and complicate a miniseries that could’ve stood to simplify itself down.