Comic Book Review: ‘The Ray’ #4

Posted Saturday, March 17th, 2012 12:00 pm GMT -4 by

The Ray #4 CoverSniff!  Sniff!  Is this really the last issue of ‘The Ray?’  Nooooooo!  Seriously, this book was just a blast from the start!  Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray really approached this project with a keen sense of what a light-based hero could truly represent; light, hope, optimism!  There are enough dark and dreary super hero comics out there.  The comics world needs books like this to counter balance that and connect with that primal sense of fun that we all got from super heroes as children.  However, this was a new character and sales on the miniseries were only fair, so this may be the end of the road, but hopefully Lucien Gates and his lovely supporting cast doesn’t just vanish into the ether of forgotten comics.

Now, as for the issue itself, things looked pretty bleak at the close of last issue, with Lucien beaten to a bloody pulp and his girlfriend Chanti’s father dead, thanks to villain Thaddeus Fillmore.  Well he gets what’s coming to him, as on the first page, Chanti shoots him in the chest!  Fillmore orders his giant Transformer-like robots to kill her, but Ray manages to rally and streaks back into action against the robots in a manner reminiscent of the first ‘Resident Evil’ movie.  As for Fillmore, he’s still alive and The Ray must stop him… in the most unique, unlikely way I think I’ve ever seen.  I won’t spoil it, but he manages to convince Fillmore to set things right with his ability to do…. y’know, anything.

Lucien gets to correct a mistake he made in the past.  Chanti’s family is restored and even Fillmore gets his happy ending.  The series ends open-ended, with Lucien being invited to join a certain government strike force, paving the way for a ‘New 52′ Freedom Fighters.

Artist Jamal Igle can do no wrong, so the art is amazing!  I love the design of The Ray’s costume and the neat “crackle” effect in the starburst design.  Guy Major colored the book, so presumably, he is responsible.  I also loved the way Lucien literally seems to glow on the page.  We’ve come light years from the days that a jagged line around a character signified that they were glowing!

This book may not have sold gangbusters, but trust me, it’s good stuff!  Pick it up or grab the trade and tell a friend.  It’s really a fun, lighthearted book with an excellent cast, with a fresh voice and perspective.  I hope we see Lucien again!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and Cover by Jamal Igle