When the Allies and Nazis develop time-diving technology that could see the Second World War derailed by creatures from the Cretaceous, only the Sarge and his hand of misfit soldiers can save the future – by saving history! Dinosaurs! Giant crocodiles! Albert Einstein with a machine gun! All that barely scratches the surface of the first issue of this astounding, fully-painted pulp spectacular!
* Blurb from the first issue of the five-issue miniseries.
Chronos Commandos starts with a time machine materializing in the Mesozoic. Out from it pour four U.S. soldiers in World War II uniforms. They are led by Sarge, a cigar-chomping macho man who just wants to complete the mission so he can return home and grab a coffee. After some gory encounters with dinosaurs and time-traveling Nazis, Sarge is the only one left out of his squad. He hops in the time machine and travels back to the future only to find his base under attack by Nazis. It turns out the Germans have stolen a vital piece of time travel technology and have fled with it to the Age of Dinosaurs. It is up to Sarge and a small squad of men to travel back in time and recover the tech or risk losing the war.
Chronos Commandos is a tough comic to review because its creators purposely set a low bar for themselves: It is meant as nothing more than a brainless tribute to the pulp comics of yesteryear, in particular The War That Time Forgot. Taking the comic too seriously would be a mistake. That said, there are some flaws that diminished my enjoyment of the title. First is the main character, Sarge, who is supposed to be a tough guy but instead comes across as a jerk more interested in his own preservation than the safety of the men he leads. Another problem is the depiction of the Cretaceous, with the creators mixing and matching dinosaurs from different eras in the setting. I know it is a bit silly to demand scientific rigor from a pulp comic, but I would have liked to seen a broader range of dinosaurs than your standard raptors, T. rexes, and stegosaurs. As for the art, it is serviceable – it does its job but is nothing to write home about.
My verdict of Chronos Commandos is a resounding “meh.” The comic wasn’t a complete waste of my time, but I wish its creators had been more ambitious. There is nothing wrong with B-grade entertainment, but that’s not an excuse not to shoot for something a little grander.
- Chronos Commandos was not the only dinosaurs vs. Nazis comic series released in 2013: The year also saw the debut of Half-Past Danger.