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Quantum #1 reviewed by Raphael Borg

Stories in this issue:

Major Rakhana: Pax Galactica part one (writer Steve Tanner, artist Pete Woods, colourist Dan Harris, letterer Rob Jones)

WesterNoir: Moon Cursed part one (writer and letterer Dave West, artist Joseph Parangue, colourist Matt Soffe)

Memphis (written, drawn and lettered by David Morris)

Whatever Happened to the World’s Fastest Man? part one (writer Dave West, artist Marleen Lowe, letterer Andy Bloor)

The Clockwork Cavalier (writer Steve Tanner, artist Ed Machiavello, colourist Dan Harris, letterer Bolt-01)

David Morris’ The Tale of Norton the Dragon series, and exclusive editorial content.

The term “Quantum” refers to a discrete amount of energy proportional to the amount of magnitude in frequency it represents; and in this case, the new British anthology from Time Bomb comics delivers a mixed bag thereof.

It presents stories from different universes in which the common strand is time folding upon itself to present realities where the aesthetics and technologies of the past have been given a futuristic twist, ranging from steampunk to the era of roundheads to turn-of-the century and medieval, offering short snippets of humour in between thanks to the adventures of Schroedinger’s cat and Norton the dragon which I absolutely love, particularly the former. It is such a simple concept and yet you would wonder how come no one had tried it before. Or not. You have to open the comic to find out.

Out of all the stories presented, the most which stand out to me are two. “Whatever happened to the world’s fastest man?” which follows a man who had developed super speed but lives a complete lifetime while saving people from an imminent bomb threat; it is ironically slow and ponderous, following the numerous thoughts and reflections of the protagonist as he reflects on the nature of his predicament as he walks between the seconds saving people’s lives, which is an innovative take on the nature of a fast life that had only been explored fleetingly (hah) in the pages of The Flash back in Mark Waid’s run.

My other favorite must be “The Working Dead”, very relevant to the realities of today, where one is asked to submit their bodies for exploitation instead of workers as soon as they pass away, and the unfortunate and inevitable consequences that would bring with it. In both these cases, more than all the other stories presented, the reader is given space and reason to reflect, as it is not busying itself with making spectacle, but a meaningful presence within the pages of the anthology.

I would recommend reading through it even simply to peek through the imagination of our creative comrades up north. It has its flaws, as some of the artistic choices and one or two stories are not entirely to my liking, but it is a matter of taste.

I guess that is the strength of having an anthology; you have a choice of stories to which you could gravitate towards, and at the time it gives the opportunity to others to put their ideas forward on the same terms as established ones. And this is no different.