In a rough draft of a blog I have yet to publish, I go off on a tangent about time travel and the unspoken rule that the first thing you’re supposed to do is go kill Hitler. Ethically, I don’t think I can kill a man, even Hitler, and so I said the first thing I would do is go back in time to place baby Hitler with a wonderful and nurturing Jewish family. It was a throwaway comment but it gave me what I think is a great idea so indulge me for a moment…
Two men wake up in a top secret facility. There is no reason they should be in the same room. There is no reason that they should even be in the same time. They are Francis of Assisi and Desmond Tutu. Separated by centuries, neither of them knows the other but before they can speak they notice a third person in the room dressed in all white.
"Who are you? Where are we?" Tutu asks.
"Your guess is as good as mine," The Stranger answers, "but I have been told we have been given an assignment?"
"What assignment?" answers Francis with surprise that he can both understand and speak English.
The Stranger pulls out some sort of recording device and presses play. “This.”
"Gentlemen, you have been assembled because of your expertise in peacemaking and reconciliation. For reasons I cannot explain to you now, you have each been pulled from your native era. You are presently outside the time stream itself, but that will soon change. You will find yourselves nomads in the realm of history. You will not know when or where you will be going. But wherever you go, your mission is to resolve some of the greatest crises this world has ever encountered. Your order is to do this without taking a life. We cannot stop you from killing, but know that the ramifications of such an action would be catastrophic. When you have accomplished your mission, you will each be returned to your home. You are not alone in your mission, others will come to your aid. Though you do not know each other, you are a team. You are Peace Time. History is depending on you."
Thus begins my ultra-unorthodox comic book series Peace Time. We follow Francis, Desmond, and The Stranger as they bounce through history, risking life and limb, but always turning the other cheek. All the while, they begin to encounter another group bent on sabotaging their work at any costs. Can they trust each other and the mysterious entity that sent them through time? And just who is The Stranger? Along with physical peril, Peace Time faces tough philosophical questions: Should they even be changing history? Could their changes possibly alter their own history or even knock them out of existence? (The answers: Yes and maybe)
Issue #1 would be the setup plus find baby Hitler a loving home. The tension of each story would be alleviated by an offbeat rapport among our trio as they try to make sense of a ridiculous situation. Because a comic book based on the premise of non-violence is a bit of an odd duck, it would probably be cancelled by issue #5, which is when Francis uses his ability to relate to animals to bring peace between warring dinosaur tribes.
Would people really want to read the adventures of a crack team of peacemakers traveling through time? I doubt it, but I totally would. We won’t delve into what that says about me.