The Accelerators Vo. 2: Momentum picks up right after the end of The Accelerators Vol. 1: Time Games, which introduced readers to an intrepid group of accidental time-travelers leapfrogging toward an unknowable future. In this second volume, the group visits the same location on Earth in different epochs — some friendly, though most are hostile or outright dangerous — gaining precious few answers along the way as to how any of this is possible or how it’s all come to pass.
Spatz, Alexa, and Bertram have been joined in their travels by a Roman they’ve named Spartacus, along with Bob and one of the Time Games’ blue-jumpsuited men, Gamemaster 997. The group has their disagreements over the best course of action to take after each time-jump, though there isn’t much room for discussion, as their lives are usually at risk due to cannibalistic humanoids or gigantic walls of flame scouring the land, and they must use the accelerator to skip to the next available time period in search of safety and food. There’s an extended stay in an idyllic 18th-century town (which is actually in the year 2944) before another massive jump forward to the 88th century.
R.F.I. Porto keeps the action moving at a near-breakneck pace throughout most of the issues comprising Vol. 2, slowing down only when the group’s technological advances are neutralized upon their arrival in the pseudo-18th century, and they’re assimilated into the community. So far, there haven’t been many opportunities for character development: people argue, danger strikes, the group jumps forward, they argue, etc. There are hints that there’s more to Spatz than his current nerd-slacker persona would indicate, but the primary impetus in The Accelerators 2: Momentum is to shepherd the travelers from one time period to the next, with brief glimpses of hellish apocalyptia in between.
Those dips into the time-stream provide ample opportunity for Gavin Smith to put his imagination to work, and it pays off, with clear delineations between scenes in an ash-covered wasteland, an underwater period, and an Edenic paradise. Tim Yates’ colors are dramatic, appealing, and a great complement to Smith’s work. At this point in time, it’s obvious that he was still working out the kinks in his implementation of light and shadow, and the finer details of his colors aren’t as well-integrated as they could be. However, it’s easy to imagine extinction-level events occurring, or global flooding/freezing, without needing to be told exactly what happened when the characters were traveling, though occasionally the total significance of certain panels wasn’t clear until I looked over the timeline provided at the end (which also gave me Alexa and Bertram’s full names). The Utopic town’s character costume designs are a little more 19th century than 18th, but overall the environments are engaging and dynamic.
The Accelerators Vol. 2: Momentum suffers a little from the necessity of moving the group through the millennia in order to arrive at the 88th century, where important things are about to happen (and definitely have been happening, if the final and full-page panel is any indication). But the build-up to The Accelerators Vol. 3: Relativity has maintained my interest, and there’s a strong promise of a few answers and even more questions to come.