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‘Fragmentation’ HC (review)

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art and Cover by Beni R. Lobel
Published by Dark Horse Comics

 

Fragmentation is guilty of the crime that 90% of the independent comics on the market are about today, which is a product that comes across more as a movie screenplay than a comic book.

I would credit that to the fact that the book’s author is Marc Guggenheim, a famous American screenwriter best known for his work on television.

Guggenheim’s setup is standard and reminds me of a season finale of his series Legends of Tomorrow, where the legends return to the present to find that their latest adventure has broken time and that pieces of the past, present, and future are all simultaneously existing in the same space.

“When pieces of history from some of the world’s most traumatic and horrible events start appearing as fragments of time invading the present world, fragmented time threatens all human existence. One family discovers that their tragedy is the key to solving everything.”

Fragmentation is fun, and even though the book is light and breezy, the themes and concepts about second chances, incomplete lives, and fragmented families resonated with me for a few days after putting the book down. I am a sucker for time-travel stories, especially ones involving paradoxes.

Fragmentation delivered the kind of time travel romp that I enjoy. The tale of Fragmentation could easily have been an exciting episode of anthology series like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Black Mirror. Guggenheim neatly presents a well-written and compelling adventure. Lobel’s art is a fantastic companion piece that brings the fragmented world of our three protagonists to life.

The book would be perfect, but for me, the conclusion did not quite stick to the landing. While I love “timey-whimey” shenanigans, paradoxes, and casual loops, I also like neat and well-explained endings. While the ending was satisfying, I was left scratching my head, trying to put some pieces together. I’m sure there are some essential story panels on an editing floor.

I would love to get Guggenheim in a room and understand how and why he chose this ending. Because the end was a slight misfire for me, I am giving the book one point off. However, that does not mean I do not believe the book is almost perfect. In my old age, I am not as nuanced as a reader or viewer as I used to be, and sometimes I miss subtle clues and context.

I highly recommend Fragmentation as a fun and thought-provoking read.

Final Score: 4 out of 5

 

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