Writer: Darius Dudley
Artists: Sharpteething & Patdog
I’m a bit of a sucker for time loop stories, especially when they involve saving the people you love. When done well (Like in Steins;Gate), they can absolutely rip the heart out of their audiences. Opposite of Always seems to strive to be the next big thing that uses a time loop to save someone that the protagonist loves.
The series starts with a fast-paced cold open where protagonist Jack breaks a few laws to save the love of Kate, someone he deeply cares for. Unfortunately, Jack seems to be in a timeloop, and this isn’t the first time that he fails to rescue her. Every time she dies, he goes back in time, striving to save her again. The first three episodes take the time to establish the stakes while giving readers a look at how the two characters met.
Opposite of Always is based on the novel of the same name by Justin Reynolds. While I’m not familiar with the source material, writer Darius Dudley does a fine job of adapting the story into the comic book medium. One of the hardest parts to nail when adapting novels into comics is the pacing. While the first three episodes of Opposite of Always don’t have perfect pacing, the story still moves along at a solid pace. Readers get plenty of time to learn about the couple and how they met. While it’s important to develop the characters, a little too much time was spent on their first evening together. This is especially since the time between the characters follows the interesting cold open from the first episode.
Artist Sharpteething does a solid job at drawing the characters throughout the first few episodes. They are wildly expressive and all of the conversation hits the reader effectively thanks to their faces. If the character art suffers anywhere, it’s the coloring. While the colors are bright and fun, there isn’t enough shading in some panels, so that characters look a little flat sometimes. Padog handles this series’ backgrounds, and they are all drawn quite well. They are detailed enough so that they look nice behind the characters without pulling the reader’s eyes away from what matters.
The panels flow together reasonably well, though there are a few hiccups when it comes to the order in which the panels are laid out. Readers tend to look at panels from top to bottom due to the Webtoon’s vertical format, and a few panels in Opposite of Always lead to some awkward moments that hurts the immersion. Mitzi’s lettering is solid throughout, with few, but effective changes in the series’ main font that help readers to hear what is going on in the panels.
Despite the mild pacing and layout complaints, Opposite of Always is an intriguing science fiction love story that explores how far one person will go to save someone that he cares for. Time will tell if the pacing will improve or lead the to story collapsing, but for now, this is a Webtoon worth looking into.
Opposite of Always
Time will tell if the pacing will improve or lead the to story collapsing, but for now, this is a Webtoon worth looking into.