“November 11th, 2004″
Writer: Phil Hester
Art: Frazer Iving
Archaia Publishing (Mouse Guard series) and Roddenberry Productions (Star Trek) bring us the story of a man who literally lives on borrowed time, in Days Missing. And you really need to do yourself a favor and avoid missing the first issue of this mini-series. Be warned, this review may contain spoilers.
Days Missing is the story of The Steward, a being who has existed since the dawn of time, who walked with dinosaurs and inspired kings. Throughout history, he has aided humanity with a unique gift: he can shift events in time, putting people where they must be and inspiring them to do what is necessary for the insured survival of humanity, and afterward leaves them with a faint memory and steals away the previous 24 hours. Humanity forgets it’s day of horror, as The Steward lives on to record the lost time. As issue #1 opens, a plague is tearing through Africa in 2004…one which The Steward doesn’t believe he can stop in time.
Phil Hester (Green Arrow, Nightwing) crafts a beautifully written tale, a unique take on the classic tale of an immortal through history. The Steward is written as a truly tragic hero, seeing the world in a time frame different from ours, commenting in the book’s first pages that our “years pass in front of me like hours” and that “when death comes for even an elderly human, I am watching the death of a child”. It’s a refreshing take, as we witness an immortal with care and love in his heart, as opposed to the atypical characterization of a pompous dick that most of these characters carry with him. And while there is still much mystery to The Steward, to how he came to be and what he is responsible for, the book tells us just enough to hook us, and makes it clearly known that this man has saved humanity a lot.
Even more refreshing than this book’s premise is the absolutely gorgeous artwork of Frazer Irving (Inhumans: Silent War). I must admit, I was incredibly surprised. Irving also did the work on Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight, which I said I wasn’t a huge fan of in this review. Irving has stepped up his game here. This book is damn beautiful, with a stark look to it and brilliant use of colors and a gorgeous stylistic approach. The book is one of the best looking that I’ve seen in ages.
Regrettably, Days Missing is only slated to be a 5 issue mini-series. If the remaining issues are anything like this one, it’s going to be sad to see it go. This is a fresh, fun idea, a story of one man desperately racing to save the world from a fate they’re already suffering. And better still, is the cost: the standard cover of issue #1 is a mere 99 cents. Days Missing #1 easily scores an A.