The Ray: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Jamal Igle, Rich Perrota, Guy Major, Dave Sharpe
Alright, now I’m sad again. Someone at DC must have heard me, AGAIN. Because, now, instead of the book saying it’s #3 of 6, we’re back to “of 4.” Perhaps the previous issue was a misprint. That’s a shame, because I would have liked to see more of this story developed. Especially if this is the second-to-last issue? It doesn’t feel complete, and it doesn’t feel like it could be complete in one more issue. I mean, sure, it could all boil down to the last heroic effort against the villain, but I would have liked to see more. Has anyone else noticed how similar this cover is to the cover of Justice League International #2? Just a thought, especially considering nothing like this happens in the issue. Then again, nothing like the cover to JLI happened in that issue either. Anyway. Ray saves Chanti from the rolly-polly robot, but it turns out that he’s too far away from light to channel enough energy for his powers. He actually starts reverting back to human form. I didn’t know this was an issue for him. Interesting. See, it’s stuff like this…exploring Lucien’s powers and all…that I’d like to see more of in an extended version of this series. Even Lucien himself says, in this issue, that he wished he had had more time to explore his powers (perhaps this is a bite toward DC from the writers?). Anyway, at the hospital, Chanti’s okay, and her parents are still upset at Lucien for fooling them the other night, but that’s when the movie guy shows up. I’m gonna call him the movie guy because we’re not told his name, nor does he say it. It’s been a long time since issue #1, and I don’t remember the name of the explorer dude from the film that came back to life. He doesn’t even supply a villain name. But…then…he doesn’t believe he’s a villain, so that makes a bit of sense. Lucien attempts to fight him off while trying to reason with him, which is smart, but it doesn’t seem to work, as movie guy’s off his rocker. Like, completely. Nutty as squirrel poop. Lucien begins to understand that he’s unreachable by the time the movie guy uses his reality-altering powers to turn the incoming cop cars into Transformer robots and attack everyone. We last see The Ray in a precarious situation, with Chanti coming in as backup. Though, at the end of the issue, we get this dramatic splash page, but no titles or “COMING NEXT!” teasers. Weird, but doable. The art and coloring in this issue is very good, just like that last ones, and I still love the lighting effects that we see. The car headlights look very realistic, for example. Seeing Lucien’s power failing is also really cool looking. I’m suddenly disappointed in the unexplained lengthening and then shortening of this series’ numbering, but it’s still an interesting story. I’m just wondering what all they can cram into the final issue, coming next.
The Ray #3 of 4, the verdict: So while there’s a bitter sting in my heart for the creative team on that weird numbering discrepancy we saw this and last issue, it’s still an enjoyable series. It went from pretty light-hearted to suddenly very dark and ominous. A very smart take for the writers, I think. It fits into your classic movie superhero timeline, too. Hero gets powers, hero loves powers, hero overcomes simple obstacles, but hero is both too flawed and unprepared to face his real challenge and goes into a dark downward spiral toward defeat. The only step remaining in the journey is to triumphantly discover the true path and rise to victory. One issue remains - unless the numbering changes again - so can Lucien find his footing before it’s over? All I can say is that we can expect some great things from this team.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)