Time Control


Martin Bormann

Mother Eternal

"Members of Time-Control are recruited from every era! We try to prevent major time-quakes - disastrous alterations to the pattern of time!" - Harl Vinda, controller of the Cretaceous era temporal substation.

On the 1st of May, 1978, at 0714 GMT, London, New York and Moscow were devastated by nuclear missiles, the first casualties in a devastating war that would engulf the entire planet. One minute before the first missile hit, James Blocker, skipper of the tramp steamer Mary Ann Trinder is snatched from a London 'Tube' train by three people who appear out of thin air and take him through a glowing hole floating in mid-air. "Timequake" had begun.

The first three part adventure established the background of the series. Blocker, an unwitting dupe who had inadvertantly helped cause the nuclear devastation had been forcibly recruited by members of Time Control, an agency established some time after the 40th century. The nuclear war had been engineered by the time travelling Droon, an alien race whose dreams of empire in the far future had been thwarted by the might of humanity; unable to defeat mankind in their own time, the vicious aliens had decided to wipe them out before they gained interstellar travel, some time in the early 21st century. Blocker was an unwilling recruit to the agency, but given the option of humanity being wiped out if he didn't assist Time Control, he couldn't exactly refuse to help. Undoing the tampering caused by the Droon didn't prove to be too difficult a job, and time was set back on its proper course. Sadly for the reluctant Blocker, time travel has its price - once you have made any 'long distance' jumps, the body's metabolism is altered, and if you don't keep time travelling thereafter then you have less than six months before you crumble to dust. Much to his chagrin, James Blocker had just joined Time Control permanently.

The next issue saw Blocker back in modern day London to collect some of his things, when a time-quake erupted. In the blink of an eye, Britain transformed into a Nazi state. Protected by his Time Trooper equipment, Blocker was unaffected. He soon discovered the Nazis had won the Second World War after unexpectedly unleashing atomic bombs on the allies. As he came to figure out what had happened, the evidence swiftly mounted that the alteration to history was the result of a rogue member of Time Control; more shocking yet was the revelation that the rogue was Martin Bormann - "he most wanted Nazi war criminal of all time". A cat and mouse game began through history, as Bormann, alerted to Blocker's discovery, pursued him through the Nazi-dominated future, trying to stop the British man from alerting Time Control. Bormann failed of course. Having made it back to headquarters, Blocker and his fellow agents learned that a chance encounter in the dying days of the War had allowed Bormann to kill a Time Control researcher, and then infiltrate the agency disguised as his victim. Returning to Berlin in 1945, Blocker machine gunned Bormann just before the encounter could happen, returning things back to the way they should be.

The final adventure for the agents of Time Control in the pages of the regular Starlord title started when an accident at the Cretaceous base inadvertantly caused the Aztecs to gain access to alien technolgy prior to the arrival of the Conquistadors; when the invaders landed the Aztecs were more than a match for them, and the Aztec Empire survived to conquer the stars, coming back to raid their homeplanet for human sacrifice again and again throughout the following centuries. Once again the agents of Time Control put paid to this historical re-write.

The first two Timequake stories were written by Chris Lowder, with I. Mennell taking over for the third adventure. Ian Kennedy and John Cooper took turns doing the art chores for the first three parter, with the excellent Magallanes Salinas covering the rest of the Starlord run. The strip benefitted from an enjoyable interplay between the Time Control agents, including the somewhat surly but resourceful Blocker and his most common partner, the shape-changing Princess from the future, Suzi Cho, to whom Blocker would make repeated (and unsuccessful) romantic passes.

Although 5th August 1978 saw the end of the regular strip, that wasn't quite the last time we saw Blocker and his cohorts. The 1981 Starlord Annual saw them take on the Droon again, and over a year after Starlord was absorbed into 2000 A.D. the strip made a brief return there. Blocker also made a cameo alongside a number of "forgotten" characters several years later in the Armoured Gideon strip in 2000 A.D. But that, as they say, is another story.

Back to 2000 A.D.

Back to UK Comics

Back to Front Page

All images and characters depicted are copyright their respective holders, and are used above for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.