‘40 Seconds:’ Trade Paperback Review

In a future that might be our own, an unknown race a million light years away signals for help while sending along the plans for something called forge gate technology. This technology will allow us to travel light years away from Earth (through a series of jumps) in the hope that we will eventually arrive at this unknown destination (a.k.a. The Terminus). (Think Stargate.)

Each jump takes exactly forty seconds. A team of explorers is selected for the mission and isolated for a year prior to departure. They are only known as One, Two, Three, and Four. Their mission: Travel through the gate, gather data along the way, and find out what happened to the previous team that never returned. Sound ominous? It is.

We get a brief glimpse of the inner lives of One, Two, Three, and Four and discover they are very human. Missing family and friends in their isolation, their togetherness has also produced nightmares and other odd behavior; however, what I found odd was their lack of scientific knowledge and curiosity. And why is only one of them carrying a weapon on what will probably be a perilous mission? Honestly, I almost put this graphic novel down, but I trusted that there would be a payoff later.  Fortunately, there was. The nuanced foreshadowing at the beginning starts to make sense as the clues as to what happened to the previous mission slowly reveal something much darker and more insidious.

The colors are bold and beautiful, giving the art a nice otherworldly feel.  I also liked the special touch with the lettering of muting the alien language underneath the dialogue. It felt like I was watching a closed-captioned movie in a language other than English.  Overall, it was an interesting read with a possible promise of more to come.


Creative Team: Jeremy Haun (writer), Christopher Mitten (artist), Brett Weldele (colorist), Thomas Mauer (letterer)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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