‘Past Aways #8:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I’ve loved following the twists and turns of Matt Kindt and Scott Kolins’ Past Aways. Matt Kindt is an incredible writer. His Mind MGMT is genuinely superb. Past Aways is smaller scale but has just as many big ideas at play. This, the eighth issue, is one issue away from the end, and I feel disconnected from the now-central action of the story. This could be because the emotional center has suddenly shifted.

Firstly, if you haven’t been following, Past Aways takes place in our present which is basically the Stone Age for our group of travelers that have gotten stuck here and now. Kindt has given himself and Kolins fertile soil to pretty much do whatever they want – if they need a creature, or a technology, the ship our heroes have traveled in, plus all time and space, holds the key to their plot points. What started out as a Philip K. Dick-style psychological game between two characters in which you’re just waiting for the metal in the microwave to explode into fire has dimmed as the focus has diverted to the group of secondary characters.  For the first six or seven issues, Kindt focused on the friction between two specific characters, but, suddenly, in the second-to-last issue, Kindt has given the remaining characters enough backstory so they make sense to us, so that we feel connected. It’s the equivalent of a Hail Mary in the last few seconds of the fourth quarter hoping for a touch down. A nine-issue arc seems too short to cover the ground that is needed to bring this to a satisfying conclusion. But it’s not concluded, so I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s clever, it’s entertaining, but will clever and entertaining be enough? I’ve seen lesser writers pull it off – fingers crossed for what’s to come a month from now.

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