In some ways, pop culture is a form of passive time travel. Any given work is informed by the time in which it was made, and the act of creation is also an act of preservation—our books and shows and music are all bits of dilated time, worlds perfectly preserved for us to visit at will and think of all the ways in which we have changed.
As complex a subject as time travel can be, almost all time-travel stories start with a simple choice: forward or backward? Regardless of which is chosen, or how complex the means by which that decision is made, the result is often the same: We, the readers, learn what we will become or attempt to fix what we were.
Time-travel stories, then, never really make the most poignant statements about the past or the future, but the present.
Released simultaneously in the first week of August, Trillium by Jeff Lemire and The Bunker Vol. 1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari are both graphic novels about time travel that succeed by focusing on something human and personal rather than getting caught up in the whys and wherefores of their sci-fi.