Revisionism Supreme

Antarctic Press have beaten Marvel to the news-stands with their release of Time Lincoln #1.

I think I have fallen in love.

Historical revisionism in a fictional context has long been with us, from Doctor Who to your basic historical novel. However this has become exceptionally popular recently in attempts to revitalise the classics for the current generation –  we’re not Gen-X or the MTV generation anymore are we?

Treated to such shining examples as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or the particularly excellent Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, we also see Marvel jumping on the bandwagon with their upcoming SHIELD series. This presents SHIELD as a thousand year old organisation, counting in its number such notables as Galileo and Newton, and turning established Marvel history on its head (for a change) by stating in the previews that the Fantastic Four were not the first beings to have turned Galactus away from feasting upon the earth.

(I’m not sure how I feel about that, surely some things should be sacred?)

Marvel have shown just how skilfully they can play with their own history, not just with throwaway stories like the recent Spider-Man And The Secret Wars, but with IMHO a far greater tome – Avengers Forever, a brilliant reworking of the stories of Kang and Immortus, explaining and deciphering the various contradictions and inconsistencies of previous stories involving the man who was once master of seventy centuries. I hope the same level of quality will be maintained in the current Avengers Vs the Agents Of Atlas mini.

Still, who could deny that real history itself is not a more fertile playing ground, serving both to draw in history buffs, and to engage readers into a study of history, to find out what is true and just what is fiction?

Antarctic Press have beaten Marvel to the news-stands with their release of Time Lincoln #1. The entire issue is the set-up and possibly the eventual defeat of the arch-villain Void Stalin at the hands of Abraham Lincoln, setting the scene for his younger self to embark upon his time travels, all from the theatre box where destiny waits for him to be shot by John Wilkes Booth.

As first issues go, it’s okay, with a definite style and charm. Of course, first issues often suffer the same problems that pilot episodes do; we simply do not know the characters well enough to really care.

Yet, it is reminiscent of the ill-fated Image series from years gone by, Man Against Time. Now that was a series that I would love to have seen to its conclusion, I had just begun to care about the characters and wanted to know their secrets.

Time Lincoln does not pretend to offer secrets, everything appears to be fairly spelled out. It does offer to be a fun romp through the timestream, possibly a little tongue-in-cheek. As for historical accuracy, we will have to rely on the research and knowledge of the writer Fred Perry (who sounds more like a fashion label). I find it difficult to criticise however, this is not a Vertigo title, but an all age appeal title.

And appeal it does. Pick it up, give one of the smaller guys your dollars for a change.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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