CHRONOS COMANDOS: DAWN PATROL #1 – 5 (Titan Comics, August 2013 through December 2013) Created, Written and Illustrated by Stuart Jennett. Logo Design and Lettering Assists by Donna Jennett. Also available March 2014 in a 144 page hardcover collection with additional material = ISBN: 978-17982760061
What’s in store for readers who pick up CHRONOS COMMANDOS? A quick, entertaining read. Pure escapism with no frills. Dynamic artwork that pulls no punches when it comes to vivid, graphic violence and bloodshed. No complicated side plots. A main story that proceeds at a straightforward pace until its conclusion, without trying to explain its outlandish premise with elaborate details or diagrams. Just check your rational analytical mind at the door and unleash the inner child to frolic at random.
Ever read any 1960’s or earlier comics? Remember how they always told a rapid-fire pace story in 32 pages or less, never getting into character development beyond the surface details and never-ever introducing a complicated secondary plot or theme? Just 15 or 20 minutes of fun, depending on how long they took to read to the finish. Well, here is a great example of that kind of fun, nicely divided up into five chapters. Do you recall Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos, and The Land That Time Forgot? Put them all together in a blender, and voila! Drink up some CHRONOS COMMANDOS.
U.S. Army Combat troops. Opposing Nazi forces. Time machines. Plenty of dinosaurs and giant spiders. Plus a genius egghead who looks remarkably like Albert Einstein, and goes by the same name. World War II played out on a new and different battleground - - the distant past, accessed via time-traveling equipment possessed by both sides. The Nazis, led by Captain Richter want to steal the Chronosphere core, the essential component necessary for time travel. Without it, Allied forces would be powerless to stop the Nazis from traveling back in forth in time to alter the outcome of crucial battles and all of history as we know it. Sarge (no other name, just Sarge) leads a small force of Chronos Commandos (similar to the original Suicide Squad) dedicated to chasing the Nazis through the past and stopping them from turning the war in Axis favor. A half-chewed cigar is never out of his mouth, as he shouts orders to his soldiers in typical drill-sergeant fashion: “Okay, you maggots! Time to leave the apple!” barked out as the force disembarks from the grenade-shaped time travel machine. . . . or “Now, we got a ten-click walk ahead of us, through stinking, lizard-infested jungle. What are you ladies waiting for?”
Stuart Jennett is a veteran of comics work, now returning to chronicle the adventures of the Chronos Commandos. He previously worked on several Marvel UK comics titles during the days of their short-lived popularity. His digital artwork features some beautifully painted backdrops, which are shown to best effect in the larger panels. Issue #5 leaves open the possibility of a sequel, which would be welcomed by all fans of great action and escapist entertainment.
ISSUE #1 HIGHLIGHTS: A big battle with dinosaurs, especially a hungry T-Rex. Guess who wins? Although he’s just Sarge to his men, for some reason the enemy commander calls him by Sergeant Vale. And Sarge knows his foe’s first name – Dieter. Apparently there is some history between this two, maybe to be told in a future story.
ISSUE #2 HIGHLIGHTS: The visual details of the Project: Watchmaker installation are stunning and wide-screen in scale and scope. Even though the Nazis stole the main component, there is a way for Sarge to assemble a new squad and get back in time after them. (Thank heaven for those tesla conductors. Must work similar to dylithium crystals!) The explanation of how this is possible is elaborated upon by the resident genius (Einstein) in several large dialogue balloons. It’s best just to go with the flow and not read them a second time. They will fall apart, thereby ruining the suspension of belief needed to get maximum benefit from this story. There is some great use of shading and bright but monotone colors put to good effect here during the journey through time.
ISSUE #3 HIGHLIGHTS: Raptor fight! Nuff said. What could be better? Maybe giant spiders with acid like venom.
ISSUE #4 HIGHLIGHTS: If you could, would you utilize a time machine in order to team up with yourself? Is such a thing even possible? Remember, don’t think too long about anything here. By the way, the super-crocodile is awesome.
ISSUE #5 HIGHLIGHTS: The confrontation between Sarge and Richtor is worth waiting for. Plenty of firepower here.