Clock Pendulum Sweeps into Fantastic Other world.(SATURDAY)(ZADZOOKS: COLLECTING COMICS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 14, 2002 | Go to article overview

Clock Pendulum Sweeps into Fantastic Other world.(SATURDAY)(ZADZOOKS: COLLECTING COMICS)


Byline: Joseph Szadkowski, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Remember the rules. I have not seen final versions of these comic books, nor do I own stock in any of their parent companies.

What follows is a synopsis provided by Diamond Comic Book Distributors, a reason why you should buy the book and a random thought pattern that may or may not be relevant. So here are three reasons to buy a comic book in January:

1. The Clock Maker, No. 1 (Image Comics, $2.50). Once upon a time, there was a giant clock that creaked and moaned within a hollow mountain. It was a secret behemoth, a wonder the world would never know. The clock's pendulum swung deep into the core of the Earth. Hundreds of men who never aged maintained the old clock's operation. The ice that blanketed the mountain melted into the Earth, becoming twin falls that moved giant wheels that, in turn, drove juggernaut gears.

Walkways cobwebbed a labyrinth of pistons and cogs. Age-old generators hummed and sparked with ancient power, illuminating unforgiving crags and clefts in stone. Without this clock, the planet would not move on its axis. The tides would no longer wax nor wane. There would be no past and no future, only a static and perpetual present marked by ice and darkness. At least, that's what God told the man who built the clockworks. Watch time stand still within 32 pages of chronographic colors.

Why should I (the consumer) care? This 12-issue horror mystery comes from the imagination of the writer behind Marvels Comics' Earth X extravaganza, Jim Krueger. Summing up the genesis of the Clock Maker, he says, "Comics owes a tremendous debt to the works of people like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, the first great sci-fi fantasists, and I wanted to do something that would speak to and be inspired by some of the realms that those gentlemen worked in."

Touching on the topics of heaven, hell, the devil, disillusionment, life, death, murder, monsters and betrayal, and featuring guys dressed in traditional German lederhosen, the story revolves around a girl named Astrid who is forced to return home to take over the family business, which includes safeguarding a giant clockworks within a hollow mountain in the Swiss Alps.

The personal point: I quickly became a Jim Krueger fan after interviewing him about his superhero team book, Foot Soldiers, and hearing his tremendous passion and appreciation for the comic book industry of which he is firmly a part. I expect the Clock Maker to be as interesting as the man behind it.

2. The Crossovers, No. 1 (Code 6 Comics, $2.95). Meet the Crossovers, four comic book genres in one family: Superhero Carter Crossover, known as Archetype; his horror queen wife, Calista, a fourth-generation vampire slayer; his daughter Cris, who's straight out of fantasy comics as the warrior princess Eradika; and his son Clifford, the science-fiction exemplar as a UFO abduction victim and an alien collaborator. Can a family survive the rigors of four genres and only one bathroom?

In part 1 of the saga, the Crossovers spend a day following separate pursuits. …

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