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Review: The Ray #1 (Gray, Palmiotti & Igle)

Posted By: Matt McGloin
Wed, 01/18/2012 - 11:43

Finally managed to hunt down a copy of the DC Comics New 52 version of The Ray, from Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Jamal Igle. The issue is told from the first person perspective of the new hero, a Korean kid by the name of Lucien Gate, who has been struck by an experimental solar beam giving him light-based powers.

Lucien recaps his origin, which entails life guarding at the local beach and being raised by liberal environmentally friendly hipsters. Meanwhile, as he is recounting his story, The Ray fends off an attack by giant Jellyfish upon the city. The final pages reveal a soon to be archenemy in the form of a wealthy scoundrel who happens to be into cannibalism and all sorts of evil stuff.

Overall, I felt the issue to be so-so. There is more than a sprinkling of that aforementioned liberalism as The Ray, Lucien Gate (light gate), mentions how we would all be better off if there were more people like his parents. In addition, his powers make him incapable of wearing clothing, which at times is funny, but again, partakes of the hippy movement. Finally, the evil doer is a crazy wealthy guy.

I also disliked the final pages; I thought Thaddeus Filmore coming out of the projection screen was rather bland. In addition, punching right through the face of the teacher resulting in a bloody mess was uncalled for and out of the book's character. We saw much the same with the first issue of the New 52 Firestorm, where this kid got new powers, but there was all sorts of appalling atrocities. Same with DnA's Resurrection Man, the second issue featured all this TnA, which just didn't belong.

I think I could have made it past all the "free thinking", but the villain is what did it in for me. A super hero needs to have a great super villain!

Sorry to say, this issue came up short for me, and the future is looking dim for The Ray! At least for this reviewer.