Donuts in the world of The Accelerators may not raise blood sugar or cholesterol levels, but they can still be hazardous to one’s health. R.F.I. Porto, Gavin Smith, and Tim Yates’ time-travel grabs readers and refuses to let go until the final page. With big, sweeping imagery, sound storytelling, and an eclectic cast of characters, The Accelerators: Time Games is a pleasant surprise from indie publisher Blue Juice Comics.
I’m not going to lie, my expectations going into this first volume of The Accelerators were low. Like a lot of people, I’m a sucker for time-travel stories. But who had heard of this publisher or its creative team? Based on Diamond sales figures, not many. However, The Accelerators: Time Games proves that quality entertainment can be found from the most unexpected of sources.
Porto’s narrative provides an instant hook for readers as the book’s initial protagonist, a scientist named Alexa, and her pursuer engage in a chase sequence through various venues and time periods. After Alexa is seemingly disposed of, her donut finds its way into the hands of a 1990s teenager named Spatz, and the book goes from being a time-travel pursuit to massive gladiatorial battles. Though these battles, which feature combatants from various periods of history, allow Gavin Smith to deliver some absolutely stunning splash pages, uncovering who is behind these unusual circumstances takes up the bulk of the story.
Gavin Smith and Tim Yates’ art is as much of a draw as the book’s concept. Smith employs a style of linework that is both raw and refined, giving the book a believable, “lived in” feel that readers can immerse themselves in. From a more technical standpoint, figures are rendered consistently throughout the collection’s 150 pages of story. Faces are expressive without being cartoonish, and panels are structured in a manner that is both creative yet easy to follow. Yates’ colors further add to the book’s overall quality, with splashes of bright color amid darkness or earth tones.
Time travel stories typically come with their share of headaches, and The Accelerators is no different. As entertaining as the narrative is, there are a few moments which will give readers fits as they attempt to sort out the timelines and how things line up within the continuity of the story. However, these moments are fleeting, as Porto and Smith keep the narrative moving at a brisk pace. The volume’s conclusion leaves the reader hungry for more. For those looking for a fun twist on a well-worn science fiction concept, The Accelerators demands attention.