Comic - Raygun #1

Raygun

When geeky worlds collide, does Susan Omand find the spark of something interesting in Raygun #1 from Alterna Comics...

Writer: Gregory Schoen
Pencils & Cover: Alonso Molina
Inks & Lettering: Paulo Rivas

When the bossman pointed out to me that Alterna Comics were planning a new series that had something to do with the genius that was Nikola Tesla I must admit I got a bit excited. So when a review copy of the first issue in the Young Adult comics series, Raygun, dropped into the office email recently, I grabbed it and high tailed into the Faraday Cage that I’d built in the filing room to read it.

The comic opens in Shoreham, Long Island in 1912 and sees Nikola Tesla trying to protect his lab from a gang of thugs, whom he suspects to have been sent by Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, intent on destroying everything. In order to save his work from the hands of the money men, Tesla flips a switch to send it “to the future”.

Flash forward and we meet young Matthew Baker in Red Bluff, California, being put on a long distance bus to go and stay with his father, whom he hardly knows, because his mother is “unwell,” although we find out the real reason later. So Matthew has to deal with a new home, new friends (of several descriptions), a new school and new enemies in the shape of a gang of bullies. However things are about to go from messy to even messier as Matthew makes a discovery after problems on a school trip to the new Tesla exhibition that leads to him coming to the attention of people in much higher places than the school bully.

As I said at the start, this is just the first comic in a series and what a great fun introduction it was! The writing really built the character of Matthew well, managing to fill out his back story without too much explanation. The inclusion of just enough historical science to ground (no pun intended) the ideas that Matthew’s discovery would alert the authorities was very well done and has added enough interest and intrigue to make me want to read more, at least until the good guys and the bad guys come into sharper focus. As a side story, I’m sure Matthew’s father’s work will have to come into play at some point, as will his “friends” Pip and Squeak.

Action packed, clear and easy enough for younger readers to read, with a vaguely Manga style to the artwork, intelligent storytelling and very good characterisation all round, this could shape up in to a very good comics series indeed. I’ll leave you with the first few pages, which Alterna Comics have allowed me to share, to let you get a feel for the story yourselves and I say to Alterna Comics, “Hurry up with the next one, Sparky.”

page 1 - Teslas lab

Page 2 explosion

Page 3 the future

Page 4 - Matthew and mum

Page 5 the bus

Page 6 meeting dad
Images - Alterna Comics

Raygun #1 is available from Comixology