CHARGE #1-5 (Alterna Comics)

chargeGunfights, corporate espionage, future warfare, advanced technology, time travel. Do we have your attention yet? CHARGE from Alterna Comics has all this and so much more all combined in a well written and intelligent plot that will leave you with a thirst for more.


chargePublisher: Alterna Comics
Writer: Dan Jury & Chris Jury
Artist: Aditya Zulkarnaen (Pencils) Christopher Bryer (Inks) Pamela Siega (Colour) Michael  Lagace (Letters)
Price: £1.99 per issue from ComiXology

Our rating:

Our story starts in 1975 as we witness the closing of the White Sierra research facility hidden away in amongst snowy mountains. Out of nowhere we jump to 2017 for a brief moment and we are hit with a shocking turn of events that raises some questions, before returning to the mid seventies once more to pick up where we left off. This is our first hint at the time travel route this book is going to take us down and we can expect a lot more of this as we go on, knowing now that there is an anchor in the future world that links back to the facility. In this ambitious first issue of CHARGE, there is some really nice panel work from the art team and the pacing works well to move us through the time travel sequence of events and beyond. There follows a nice and well choreographed piece with the sudden appearance of strangers seemingly popping into existence from thin air.

The first issue ends with a decent time travel segment that shows us that there is some timeline manipulation occurring. Writers Dan and Chris Jury have stuck to a well accepted use of time travel making sure that events in the past can impact events in the future and creating variant timelines. This makes it easy to follow for most readers and when done well can really add an engaging dynamic, something CHARGE does very well and eventually leads us to learn about the link between 1975 and 2017. Explaining the ability to travel one way back in time and of an impending “Time War”, is a credit to the creative team behind Charge, and shows the intelligent design behind explaining and making the situation to a great point still believable. All of this is really interesting and we find ourselves wanting to learn more of this backdrop. It’s a plot mechanic that can be utilised in a number of ways and you’ll want to see more of it we’re sure.

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The covers of CHARGE all have the same structure but a different colour scheme and technical diagram

As the second issue progresses, the second group from the future arrive things began to escalate and soon all is not quite what it seems, as we are treated to some more well put together gunfights, action sequences and a whole lot of story progression and perspective shifting – all executed well with good writing and pace. The whole dynamic now shifts and this is where CHARGE really hits it’s stride. The whole book now takes on a darker and more suspense filled tone. It’s interesting to see the character’s priorities and attitudes change in such a dramatic way showing depth to the cast.

The time jumping isn’t restricted to just the two spots we have been experiencing, as in issue three we also venture to the future dystopian world of 2035 which has some cyberpunk elements within it and we witness some cloak and dagger operations that lead two new characters into the 1970’s and it’s ever growing list of players. At each stage you can really tell the high level of thought that has gone into the plot twists and the obstacles the characters face. Each factor is carefully woven into the fabric of the story, and all lead to a finale that’s action filled, fast paced and full of tension as part of a clever finish in the fourth issue. Although this serves up some closure, it still leaves the reader with some questions and more importantly the creative team have a launch pad for more stories set in this world.

The art style throughout these five issues is consistent, very easy on the eye and well crafted throughout and the addition of technical manual style diagrams to explain certain aspects of the story is a really nice touch. It goes hand in hand with the smartly designed and matching covers from Jordan J. Nering, also reflect a technical manual style. Another note on the art is that Zulkarnaen, Siega and Bryer manage to capture a feel of the time in which each panel is set, be it the past of the future, something that is not an easy feat when you have a conflicting timeline such as this.

CHARGE is never the book you thought it was just a few pages ago, it keeps you guessing and keeps you impressed with every twist and turn. It’s a clever, original and well put together book that charmed and thrilled us from the start.

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Author: Jay Brown

Lifelong comic fan and founder of comicsleuth.com on a mission to introduce the world to the very best in indie and original comics! Avid gamer, struggling writer and whiskey connoisseur (not particularly in that order)