‘The Rook Volume 2: Desperate Times’ - Advance Trade Paperback Review

It’s been nearly a year since the first arc of The Rook wrapped up, and I’ve been looking forward to the next issue ever since. I was worried that I’d missed it. Well, I may have missed the next issue, but the next arc is here, and I’m pleased to report that it’s just as chock full of time-travel fun as the first one, if not more so.

When we last left our time-traveling hero, Restin Dane, a woman from the 19th century had stolen his great grandfather’s time machine (i.e., the Time Machine, about which H.G. Wells wrote his famous book). As we begin our current story, Restin has tracked the woman to the year 1967, where she’s doing a surprisingly good job of fitting in; however, before Restin can catch her and bring her back to where she belongs, he’s forced to deal with aliens, robots, more aliens, monsters, and a host of other perils. Over the course of this arc, the Rook is abducted to the distant future and gets stranded in prehistoric times, before taking a trip to the post-apocalyptic nearer-future. The fun never stops.

At times, this comic seems to be almost a send-up of current Doctor Who. Much like the Doctor, everywhere he goes, the Rook’s reputation precedes him. He’s feared, admired, and hated, and his fabulous time-travel adventures are known everywhere.

However, one of the things that appeals to me about this comic is that, unlike the Doctor, Restin Dane doesn’t really live up to the reputation. He’s not the roguish adventurer that everyone has come to know and love (or hate)—at least, not yet. The encounters everyone has had with him are with his future self, a much more experienced and capable time traveler who always knows how to handle a crisis.

The Restin we know, on the other hand, is still just figuring out the whole time travel thing. The reasons why people love or hate him are generally for things he hasn’t done yet. While he’s a fast learner in terms of acting in a crisis, he has a long way to go before he’s traveling the galaxy and saving the world.

In the meantime, this comic is immensely fun. I love almost any kind of time travel story, but The Rook, with the limitless possibilities it presents, is absolutely the best kind. I highly recommend checking this one out.

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