This issue kicks off with Lucien Gates, The Ray, continuing to battle giant creatures– in this case flying monster stingrays– tied somehow to the mysterious beam that turned him into a being of pure light. But that’s nothing compared to his attempt to win over the strict Indian parents of his girlfriend Chanti!
Since he is composed of light energy and can manipulate that energy, Lucien has the “bright” (sorry) idea to make himself look Indian when meeting them for the first time. Chanti is infuriated, his deception is revealed and she all but breaks up with him.
Later, Lucien’s best friend Darius takes her out to dinner and tries to defend him to her, but she is still too upset. More giant creatures attack, interrupting their dinner and discussion. These are like huge matallic pill bugs who brandish ray guns, speak English and appear to be wearing pumps. (No really.) They seem to be eating men and kidnapping women. Uh oh. Chanti’s a woman. Darius valiantly tries to protect her, but even after Lucien arrives, it’s too late as one of the bug creatures takes Chanti and beats a hasty retreat!
Okay, so I don’t love the fact that the hero’s girlfriend wound up in the “damsel in distress” role, especially after Darius points out that she is “an independent woman with a high-profile job and her own opinions.” She’s built up as a tough, modern woman from a extremely traditional family, but then she turns into a victim. Well, maybe. We haven’t seen how this all works out, yet.
That aside, this book is a sheer delight! It’s smart, it’s funny, the characters are supremely likeable. The use of giant monsters is always appreciated! I repeat, “flying, monster stingrays!” That’s worth the price of admission alone, right there! It’s just a fun super hero book, with elements of D-List 50s sci fi and post modern meta. (Lucien breaks the fourth wall.) I hope this book leads to an ongoing series and that he factors into the larger DC Universe. (I hope some bigger names drop by at some point.) I want an action figure of this character like you wouldn’t believe!
Jamal Igle won me over with his run on ‘Supergirl’ and he continues to deliver in the art department. It’s simply fantastic! Not very stylized, not fussy… it might slip under a lot of readers’ radar, but he’s great! Just straight forward, clean, super hero art. (And giant monsters! Can’t forget about those!)
Lovely art, great writing… this book is just fun with a capital F-U-N!
THE RAY #2
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Grey
Art and Cover by Jamal Igle & Rich Perrotta