Comic Review: Ana Chronistic #1


Ana Chronistic is a science-fiction comic series written by Matthew McLean, with artwork by Dexter Wee.

At this time Ana Chronistic is an unpublished work, but Matthew McLean is regularly posting pages from the project on his website at So far he has posted the first one and a half issues of the series, as well as a nine-page prologue called ‘Slave of Duty’.

In this review I will be looking at the first full issue of the series, as well as the series prologue. However, I shall not be reviewing issue #2 yet, as it is only half complete.

The Story

Ana Chronistic (real name Ana Kreyenis) is an operative of the Casuality Enforcement Agency (CEA). In the world of the story, our time-line is constantly under attack by a species called the Brylaz, who exist outside of the space-time continuum. Every time that the Brylaz break through into our universe, history goes askew, and pieces from one point of time fall into another, causing all sorts of trouble. This is where the Casuality Enforcement Agency steps in. Based out of a proper-time command HQ, nicknamed the Bubble, the CEA is overseen by Commander Bradley, and works to identify fluctuations in the time-line. When a fluctuation is identified, the CEA tries to identify the origin of the problem and inserts and agent like Ana into the continuum to fix the issue. It’s explained to the reader that it doesn’t matter what the agent does to disturb the time-line after it has already been corrupted, because any changes they make will only be temporary, and there is no risk of paradox.

The ‘Slave of Duty’ prologue story finds Ana battling cyborg pirates on the high seas. Obviously something has gone very wrong in this time-line, so Ana has to retrieve a piece of the techno-organic implant from the pirates, in order to trace the technology back to it’s origin. She then travels back through time and discovers a pirate on a beach, who is crawling towards a pile of anachronistic technology. This mission is a pretty simple one for Ana, and all she has to do is knock out the pirate and prevent him from getting infected with the techno-organic virus.

The first full issue opens with Ana being chased by velociraptors across the steppes of Mongolia. Armed with a laser pistol, she takes out a few of the pack, but soon they start to close in on her, and things are looking rather grim. Suddenly, like a deus ex machina, a satellite falls from the heavens and crushes the raptors beneath it as it hits the ground. Shocked and in awe, Ana calls HQ and ports back to normal time. In the mission debrief, we discover that Ana was supposed to be sent to the 12th century, so everyone was rather surprised to find dinosaurs and space technology cohabiting in the same time period. Everyone is at a loss to explain what happened, but they have already detected three more fluctuations just like this one. In order to identify and fix the origin of the fluctuations, Ana heads to the Tibet of 2008, and finds herself dropped in the middle of a warzone!  Soon she detects a time invariant,which she must return to HQ,  but will she be able to survive this hazardous time-line? As if things weren’t strange enough, spaceships then appear from the skies and join the battle!

The Rating

Ana Chronistic is an incredibly fun concept and a relentless thrill-ride! I have read several of Matthew McLean‘s previous projects, most notably Forgotten 22 (see review), and while I enjoyed those previous stories, this one is just head and shoulders above anything he’s done before! The plot is gripping, the characters are three-dimensional and believable, the dialogue feels natural and smooth, and he uses text-box exposition to just the right degree to relay important information to the reader, without it becoming irritating. On my review of Forgotten 22 I noted that McLean’s writing had a definite Frank Millar influence to it, but I don’t sense that same influence here, this feels more like McLean’s own voice coming out, and it’s much better for it! This is absolutely wonderful storytelling, and stuff like this deserves to be published!

One thing I will note about the story though, which I am sure someone will mention if I don’t, is that it does share some superficial similarities with Warren Ellis’ Anna Mercury. Anna mercury is a sci-fi action-adventure about a sexy female agent who is sent through a dimensional barrier to alternative Earths, in order to prevent disasters and influence the outcome of wars. The similarities pretty much end there, as Ana Chronistic has more of a Doctor Who type of vibe about it, rather than the mad-cap craziness that Ellis is going for. I just thought I should not the similarity, and assure people that this series is significantly different!

The artwork on the series is by Dexter Wee, and it’s mind-blowingly good! I was actually taken aback when I first saw the artwork, because it’s certainly a cut above the quality that I usually see on small press and self-published comics. The artwork on the first and second issues is black & white, and that on the ‘Slave of Duty’ prologue is coloured; I assume that the plan is to colour the whole series eventually, but for now the black & white art still looks great, though the colour job on the prologue pages is quite spectacular. Wee’s linework is detailed and intricate, his inking is smooth and confident, and he has a masterful command of human physique and facial expressions. McLean really puts him through his paces on this project, making him draw everything from cyborg pirates and alien invaders to charging velociraptors.  Wee handles everything thrown at him with masterful ease and does a wonderful job of bringing the script to life.

Ana Chronistic #1 is a fantastic debut issue for a series that looks set to be a real pulse-pounding adventure! I can’t decide whether I’m happy that you can read this story for free, or sad about the fact that no-one is publishing this amazing piece of work! In any case, make sure to head over to Matthew’s site and give this story a good read, then make sure to tell all your friends about it. This story deserves to be read!


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