What is it about the limited series titles coming out of DC that are blowing the doors off most of their ongoing titles? First it was Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, and now The Ray is poised to impress, as well. Gray and Palmiotti want you to have just as much fun reading this as I assume they had writing it. From their opening dialog you get a real sense of the main character as he fights giant jellyfish and acclimates the reader. Gray and Palmiotti also give us a pretty decent explanation of how Lucien’s powers work without overwhelming us with the mundane and boring. Which some first issues seem to suffer from by trying to stuff everything in about the main character instead of moving the story. The good thing about this issue is that the writers seem more focused on telling a good story than spouting off character facts. There’s a nice balance of humor and action throughout most of the book, but the ante is upped when the writing team gives us a very brutal and dark cliffhanger that has ties to a classic DC Comics villain.
It goes without saying that Jamal Igle is one of the most talented artists working in comics today, and he brings all of those talents to bear in this issue. The guy moves this story with his visuals just as well as Palmiotti and Gray with their dialog. The more action heavy scenes are quite impressive, but one of my favorites is the reaction to Lucien’s new look from his best friend and parents. What I’ve also noticed is that when a hero or villain is mostly composed of energy, they don’t really pop if the colorist doesn’t do their job. Well, Guy Major gives us that pop needed to make our naked hero look cool.
Gray and Palmiotti give us an entirely new character to carry the mantle of The Ray, and it works. Even those readers who are die hard Ray Terril fans from the 90s would be hard pressed not to enjoy this issue. Why? Because it’s got everything needed to impress and excite all in its first issue. Excellent artwork and writing that makes this one a definite must have if you see it on shelves!