Time Travel at the O.K. Corral (Albert Einstein: Time Mason #3 “A Fist Full of Physics” Comic Review)

Art and Letters by Tony Donley
Script by Marcus Perry
Edited by Kris Simon
Cover by Dan Panosian
Variant Cover by Tony Donley

The plot thickens! Ol’ Al has a better grasp on who’s behind the attempted theft of his brain, and their plan is starting to become clearer—now they’re after the Century Stone at the heart of Time Mason tech, and it’s up to Albert to stop them and preserve history as we know it.

In This Issue: We rejoin Enstein in the midst of a scuffle with none other than Alexander the Great, who has mistaken Albert for the theif of the gift he was expecting. Al manages to subdue the titan of history and make the jump back to 1937 where he tasks his Time Mason supercomputer (which was somehow programmed with a delightful degree of sass) with finding any impact craters with the same properties as the scrap of the stone he was too late to the 8th century to snag.

Back in his Princeton office, Al finds his loyal secretary, Helen Dukas, fighting off the Dean, who has had it with Einstein’s disappearing act. And the Dean isn’t alone—he’s brought a friend. Elwood Nutt, Golden Gloves contender, purveyor of personal security…and Einstein’s new personal valet. (Read: Babysitter.) A monkey wrench in the works for Al, certainly, but for someone used to living a double life, what’s a little extra challenge? …Right?

Meanwhile, our thief, one Colonel Reiger, returns via temporal jump to the Owl Mountains of Poland in 1945 to deliver the stolen stone to General Kammler of the Third Reich. He also bears the news that the second sample of a stone with the same properties—the same one Einstein’s sassy supercomputer is scrambling to find—has been located. Cue villain monologuing and a dramatic exit.

We return to poor Al who is stuck with his bruiser of a valet at a 5:00 AM boxing lesson. Elwood is intent on ‘tougheining up’ his charge, completely unaware that his charge could probably take him out in about twelve seconds. Apart from one attack of ego, Al plays along beautifully until he is able to escape to his lab and transport himself to Silver City, New Mexico. The year is 1871 and the Silver Rush is in full swing. The Century Stone in Al’s pocket watch leads him down into a giant crater-turned-mining town, humming all the way as it follows the twin signal of the stone that seems still to be in the area. Al bellies up to the bar in the local saloon looking for information under the guise of a traveling showman, and in the process, flushes the thief out of the corner of the room.

One explosion and a High Noon-esque gunfight later, the thief is on the run again, and Al is lying in the street…

My Two Cents: I was that odd bird who paid attention to history lessons in school just because—imagine how much more I would have absorbed if my textbooks had been more like this comic! Yes, historical liberties are taken, but they make for an engaging, action-packed, laugh-out-loud narrative that always leaves you craving the next installment. The first two issues were more of a 50/50 split between 1937 and everywhere else, but issue three was predominantly out-of-office, so to speak, which helped to push the Time Mason portion of the plot further along, and at an even quicker pace than it has been previously. Art and dialogue still work together seamlessly, keeping the story grounded through multiple location and era changes, aided by very clever segues. By this point you’re truly invested in the outcome of this series—you find yourself really, truly rooting for Einstein in his quest, cheering his successes, flinching with his pains, holding your breath when he’s in a tight spot, and, having left him where we have in this issue, hoping he’ll be okay.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
At the risk of repeating myself, I adore this book. This time around we were treated to dialogue which followed the action to a 'T'—Al was effectively narrating what he was doing as he did it which I found immensely funny, and even better, it didn't take away from the action or the believability of the moment. And, of course, beyond a great story we are treated to all sorts of extra content like the Mason Memo, chock-full of (accurate) historical information about the eras our hero has visited, plus a very cheerful list of the most common causes of death in the American West. 'Time Talk with Marcus and Tony' gives the reader some insight into the source of a big portion of the comedy in the book—the fact that Al is a time traveler makes it possible that he could know things about our own era and therefore be able to crack jokes about them, which helps flesh the character out as a person rather than just a charicature of a well-known historical figure. I will leave you with my particular favorite extra from this issue: “Albert's Pocket Watch: Acquired by [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] Mason [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] have it [REDACTED] [REDACTED] individual files [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] we may never know.”
Good
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Story elements are balanced
  • Creative license with historical accuracy
  • Constant action
  • Quirky artistic details
  • Extras within the book
Bad
  • Can we push the publishing timeline up, please?! Once a month is inadequate!
9.5
Amazing
Art - 9
Story - 10
Writing - 9
Predictability - 10
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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