REVIEW: ‘The Fifth Force,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Fifth Force Volume 1

The Fifth Force Volume 1 is published by Herø Projects, written by Matthew Medney and Morgan Rosenblum, story by Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum, Voodoo Bownz, and Johnny Handler, art by Adriano Vicente, colors by Thiago Ribeiro, William Soars, and Flavio Silva, with letters by Flavio Silva and Mohamed Samah. In the not-too-distant future, humanity has all but exhausted the earth’s resources. In a last desperate bid to save the planet, time travelers called Inflectors are sent back in time in an attempt to change key moments in history in the hopes of saving their present from our mistakes.

Time travel is a well-trodden sci-fi concept. While this doesn’t make it a bad plot device to work with, it does mean you need to get creative with your approach if you want the core story to stand out. The Fifth Force Volume 1 succeeds in making their approach stand out thanks to the trial and error approach to their time-traveling story. Rather than having changes to the timeline altering its travelers, The Fifth Force Volume 1 sees its time-displaced characters as immune to any shifts in time. After each of their jumps, they return to their present time with a recording made in their previous present to compare with their new time to see how things have changed. These jaunts back and forth have some interesting and unintended consequences for the flow of time.

The unique take on sci-fi also extends to how the book addresses potential paradoxes caused by the time travelers’ presence in the past. It’s interesting but feels a bit too tidy an explanation for how such events are governed. Almost as if the universe was designed to allow time travel to occur without the sort of paradox problems that often plague such stories. While The Fifth Force Volume 1’s approach to time travel itself is novel, the cast that it takes on these missions is far less not worthy. While they are pleasant enough characters to journey with, none of them ever come to stand out or become truly interesting. Even with only three characters holding the lion’s share of the time in this nearly 150-page story, not one of them ever manages to truly stand out.

The art does a solid job of presenting the numerous people, places, and times to which the story journeys. The design of the time machine and the method of time travel are also delivered well. The art also handles its depictions of several historical figures skillfully, allowing the reader to easily identify persons with who they should be familiar. The coloring also does a good job of helping each period in time stand out. From the sun-baked desert of the 1800s southwest to the happening club life of 1980s Miami, every setting has a well-chosen color palette to help it. Lastly, we have the lettering. The lettering does a good job of clearly guiding the reader through the story and works well with the art to create a cohesive visual presentation.

When all is said and done, The Fifth Force Volume 1 delivers a solid sci-fi story about our future trying to undo the mistakes of today. While the approach to time travel is interesting, the lack of strong personalities in the story holds it back from being a truly engaging read.

The Fifth Force Volume 1 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Fifth Force Volume 1
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, The Fifth Force Volume 1 delivers a solid sci-fi story about our future trying to undo the mistakes of today. While the approach to time travel is interesting, the lack of strong personalities in the story holds it back from being a truly engaging read.

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