Friday, 28 September 2012

There Is No Paradox

Or a graphical time line of The Red Wing
By Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, Image Comics

The Red Wing is a pretty challenging story that more or less leaves it to the reader to suss out exactly what's happening. In the process of convincing myself that my interpretation of the story is right, I drew a timeline of the comic. I thought it would be fun to do up a nice version and throw it up here and see if y'all agree with my take on the story.

(It's also kind of a tribute to Jonathan Hickman's use of charts and info graphics.)

For the full unobscured timeline with *SPOILERS* check after the cut.

The Red Wing is a time travel book, and while things don't get too complicated in the grand scheme of time travel stories, there remains some issues with how to depict the passage of events. Now The Red Wing asserts that time is not linear, but depicting time as a layered cylinder would be visually complicated and beyond my graphic design skill. So, for visually simplisity absolute time is mapped left to right. Subjective time (the timelines of the characters) are colour coded and annotated (1-14) in the order in which the events discussed are portrayed in the comic (narrative time). These can either be followed sequentially (1, 2, 3) or along each character line individually.

1- Dominic Dorne is born [not shown]. Robert Dorne is his father.

2- Robert Dorne's patrol flight Is attacked by time marauders. His TAC fighter is destroyed, but he manages to eject in his time escape pod.

3- Dominic Dorne follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a TAC fighter cadet.

4- Robert Dorne survives crashing in the past (~1400 BCE). Encounters Aztec culture. Communicates with them and introduces modern techniques of farming while waiting for rescue.

5-Dominic Dorne and the general discuss Robert Dorne in the present.

6- Robert Dorne is abducted from the past by the time marauders. They bring him to the future. There it is revealed that the time marauders are an alternate future version of the children of Robert's generation, come to the past to get revenge on their parents abuse of their world.

7- Time marauders attack the present. Dominic Dorne's flight is involved in battle, but his best friend Valin dies scouting origin of time marauders.

8- Robert Dorne escapes captivity in the future base of the time mauraders, destroys their base, and attempts to escape back to his home time. This sequence ends with him fading out and with his fate in question.

9- The General convinces Dominic Dorne to return to the past and live his life there in a better time. Together travel back in time. This of course is literalized nostalgia, which is a pretty great idea.

10- Robert Dorne is born [not shown]. Dominic Dorne (possibly under an assumed identity) is his father. [conjecture].

11- Robert Dorne, pilots his stolen TAC fighter back to the recent past. Assumes identity of The General [conjecture].

12- The General, using the stolen time marauder TAC fighter, invents the TAC fighter.

13- The General recruits Robert Dorne (himself in the past [conjecture]) to become a TAC pilot.

14- Dominic Dorne dies, presumably from old age [conjecture].

So this is The Red Wing as I understand it. An ouroborus of closed time travelling paths that, in a two generation span, guarantees the lives of Dominic and Robert Dorne, the invention of the TAC fighter, and the defeat of the time marauders. Also: Dominic Dorne totally becomes his own grandfather.

What do y'all think?


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