Today on Comm Talk, we’re talking about Time Flyz Volume 1: Pyramid Peril.
Hey guys, welcome to B’s Views and Reviews, the podcast that promotes faith-based, family friendly comics and the creators that make them, brought to you by Geek Devotions, a show by devoted geeks devoted to letting you know that you are loved. I’m B, and today we’ll be talking about the first volume of Time Flyz, a time-traveling adventure comic for kids. I also want to give a special shout out to John who recommended this graphic novel on our Discord server.
Laurel Templeton is a simple ordinary girl, which isn’t all that bad. The problem is that her family is anything but ordinary. Her father is a Nobel prize award winning scientist who is known worldwide for his inventions. Her mom is a brain surgeon who saves people’s lives on a daily basis. And her brother is a child prodigy who has been published multiple times in poetry journals. Laurel is just an ordinary girl with ordinary desires and achievements. But her life becomes extraordinary very quickly when a team of cybernetic insects kidnap her and take her through time to ancient Egypt in hopes that she can help them stop an evil menace from ruling over all of time.
One of the things that caught me by surprise was the fact that Laurel’s family was very content with her as she was. She seemed to be the least interesting of the whole family, and yet they all celebrated and cheered her on despite the fact that her academic achievements were mediocre. I also find it interesting that this is exactly what ticks her off. She can’t understand why anyone would be proud of her. So, instead of accepting the love and appreciation that her family gives her, she lashes out at them. She tries to live up to the way she assumes her family sees her.
I also enjoyed the fact that this team of cybernetic flies can only travel through time as a team. Each member of the team has a specific power–Mother Mass can manipulate the mass of any object, Wormhole can create wormholes and teleport, Tak can create hard light constructs and illusions, Slipstream can change how time flows (fast or slow) for a person or object. N.E.X.U.S, the team’s robot, can combine their powers together to send the team through time. It’s a fun and entertaining way of forcing the team to work together. Each mission has room for solo spotlights, but they have to work together to get to where they are going.
Darchon, the villain of the story, travels to ancient Egypt to try and get away from the TimeFlyz. His plan is to visit Egypt during the Ten Plagues. He hopes that the frog plague will keep the Time Flyz busy long enough to allow him to recharge and escape. I think it’s really cool that the creators of this book treated Biblical history as it should be treated…actual history. The underlying assumption in having the Time Flyz visit this time period is that the plagues of Egypt did in fact happen, the first Passover was a historical event, and if time travel were possible, these are real people and real places and real events that you could visit.
Slipstream has a stand out moment for me. About halfway through the book, she explains to Laurel exactly what’s happening and why they needed her help. But she stops to consider that the team literally popped in her bedroom and yanked her out of her world and into a time traveling, life-threatening mission. She reflects on the decision, sees the error in it, and gives Laurel the choice as to whether or not she wishes to continue. The other Time Flyz are not too keen on her giving the choice to Laurel, especially when Laurel decides to not help them after all (Spoiler alert….that doesn’t stick). But I admire that Slipstream had enough integrity to reflect on her decisions, see the error in them, and make a different choice. She shows herself to be a strong and firm yet compassionate leader. To her, the ends don’t justify the means. Even the right thing done the wrong way is still wrong.
Connection to Faith:
Much of the adventure takes place in Egypt during the plagues. We see Laurel helped out by a family of slaves who speak Hebrew, clueing us in that these are Israelite slaves in Egypt. There’s a really cool scene where Laurel is talking to Alvina, her friend. Alvina explains that her God has done miraculous things in Egypt, and soon they would be traveling to a land God promised them. It’s a minor point in the plot of the story, but it was interesting to have Biblical history serve as the backdrop for the adventure.
The art is drawn by Adi Darda Guadiamo. The artwork seems to be very heavily influenced by Manga art. All the characters have large eyes and pointed chins and tiny noses. Given that the book is printed black and white in a 5 in x 7 and an eight in book, it definitely seems to have that feeling. The lack of color doesn’t take away from the action of the artwork. It felt like watching a Saturday morning cartoon.
The artist’s use of screentones helps to communicate the structure and textures of the world created. Rocks and stone walls, the cold steel of the fly armor, even the gritty, sandy roads of Egypt were all conveyed with the use of Screentone. It also helped to keep the whole project from being just flat black and white pages. It added depth and layering that made the art come alive.
Is it family friendly?
This book is 100% family friendly. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s action packed, but it’s not too intense for the younger audience. Nor was it too preachy or over the top. It was just a fun, entertaining story about cybernetic insects. Definitely passing this one on to my boys for reading later.
Where can I get it?
Time Flyz is written by Ben Avery with art by Adi Darda Gaudiamo and is published by Zondervan. The series has been out of print for a little while, so you may want to check where you get your back issues to get a copy. Ben Avery also sells copies of Time Flyz along with some other projects he’s worked on at store.benavery.com.
Thanks for tuning in guys. Be sure to follow Geek Devotions on all our social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the whole thing. Also be sure to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast catcher and leave reviews. We like to hear feedback. Until then, stay devoted. Peace and Love.