Review: Endtime Book 1: The Arrival

EndtimeA review by Marc H. Specter 

Endtime Book 1: The Arrival graphic novel.

Tim Kenyon’s Endtime Book 1 (of 4) was successfully Kickstarted back on 5 October 2012.  I was one of the backers and received my copy a few months ago.

Endtime is the story of Jack Kurgan, and agent of Death who has returned to Earth to stop events that will bring about the end of the world.  He needs to find Sarah and Cole Ramsey, a modern couple whose relationship is falling apart and who are locked in an antagonistic marital dance centered around their son.  All of this is set in an alternate timeline where the Warden is on constant vigil overseeing the lives of citizens and a rash of baby kidnappings has everyone on edge.

Endtime introduces each of the major players—Cole, Sarah, and Jack—in their own vignette.  Much like the flashbacks in Lost, we get a piece of a puzzle behind each character, without a hint of where they have been and exactly what brought them to this time and place.  These threads  are isolated in their own part of the image, and their connections are not yet available to us.  But as the book draws to a conclusion, and the characters begin to come together, and we begin to see the larger tapestry that Kenyon is weaving.

All of this is complemented by the art of Gerry Kissell.  He does a striking job of juxtaposing his figures in the foreground against large swatches of solid and very simple backgrounds.  This gives them an urgency and immediacy, much like the lens on a movie camera drawing into the character for a close-up.

Endtime is set in a dirty world where people have problems and bad things are happening.  Many other characters circulate through the lives of Kurgan and the Ramseys.  Kissell draws people in a way that evokes that grit, and there is no hint of shiny idealism.  None of these characters is lacking in secrets or problems, and Kissell’s work keeps us grounded in the ugliness.

If the goal of any first comic issue, in this case book, is to lay the groundwork for getting the reader to go on, Kenyon can consider his mission accomplished.  The story laid out is a complex visual narrative evocative of both The Sixth Sense and Lost.  Is Endtime as compelling as either of these two works, each a hit in their respective mediums?  Absolutely.  I am on board and eagerly await Book 2.

Marc Specter is a comic arts fan and the co-founder of GrandCon Gaming & Comic convention. Check out GrandCon and his ongoing blog about the convention creation process at grand-con.com.

Story crated & written by Tim Kenyon

Art by Gerry Kissell

Lettering by Bernie Lee

Edited by Robert Scott McCall

Cover art by Darran Douglas

Published by Capstan Comics

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