cover image William Gibson’s Archangel

William Gibson’s Archangel

William Gibson et al. IDW, $24.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-63140-875-5

SF grandmaster Gibson (The Peripheral) mines the rich pseudoscience mythology surrounding World War II, or “The Weird War,” in his Eisner-nominated first comic foray, cowritten with Smith. In an alternate 2016, corrupt U.S. political leaders rule a radioactive Earth decimated by suspicious nuclear blasts. They escape to a different past via the Splitter—a colossal machine that has manufactured a duplicate reality—to change a pivotal moment in human history and secure their own power in a shiny new world. A resistance organization sends back their own soldier to 1945 Berlin, and he gains allies and dodges bullets as he is hunted in their race to preserve this timeline and its people. The artwork by Guice and his collaborators successfully juxtaposes futuristic technology that zips and zaps in bright neon with an old-school 1940s palette that evokes wartime cloak-and-dagger exploits. Although not unpredictable, this engaging SF conspiracy thriller is a worthwhile addition to the time-travel and alternative history genres. (Oct.)