Welcome to the first From the House of Ideas of 2022! I’d say this is a timely column as I’m highlighting what I consider to be the first must read book for the new year, and it comes from the pen of a writer who became one of my favourites over the the course of the last 365 days.
All eyes are on the character of Kang; as played by Jonathan Majors in the final episode of Disney+’s Loki series, and set to appear in the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantamania, the conquering time traveler could very well be the next Big Bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, in the perfect merger of corporate synergy, Kang has been making big waves in Marvel Comics. Last year saw the release of the mini-series Kang the Conqueror, while this past week saw the release of the one-shot Timeless.
The latter book is written by Jed McKay, who has been doing fabulous work in Moon Knight, and continues to demonstrate his talents in Timeless. The tale has a bit of a Doctor Who/Kingdom Come vibe to it, as Kang takes a Russian historian named Anatoly Petrov on a journey with him across multiple timelines. Petrov is only meant to be an observer, as Kang has taken offense at the writer’s suggestion that Doctor Doom is the villain to have had the greatest impact in history. Petrov watches as Kang demonstrates his “superiority” at various times, even solving the arrival of a mysterious “pirate” timeline looking to reestablish itself in the multiverse.
McKay and the various artists involved in Timeless (Kev Walker, Greg Land & Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley & Andrew Hennesey) are faced with an interesting challenge – tell a contained story while also setting the stage and planting hints for what’s to come in 2022 across Marvel Comics. The gathered creators do an excellent job of just that, I found. Much of that comes because of McKay’s strong writing; in a relatively short space, he establishes an interesting relationship between Petrov and Kang; not quite friendship, but not quite God/Human either.
The book ends on a compelling note; the imminent arrival of Marvelman into Marvel Comics proper; however, even without the its final image, and its tie-in, Timeless would be a highly recommended piece of storytelling. It’s a fun read and an excellent way to kick off a new year of comics from the House of Ideas.