Huh. With all the comics I read every month, certain details and such fall through the cracks. I forgot that at the end of ‘The Ray’ #1, a new boss villain was introduced, a gonzo director, Thaddeus Filmore, who allowed himself to be filmed as he was killed by cannibals, only to return to life when that film stock was bathed in a Lazarus Pit! (That’s got to be one of the weirdest origins ever!) In his new form, the director can seemingly manipulate all of reality, making the entire world the set of his new “movie.”
In the last issue, The Ray’s girlfriend Chanti was captured by giant metallic insects and taken captive. At the start of this issue, he manages to free her but she is unconscious and must be transported to the hospital, where he struggles to get a moment to speak to her thanks to her strict, traditional Indian parents who don’t want their daughter dating someone that isn’t also Indian. (The Ray/Lucien Gates is Korean American.) Thadeus reveals himself to Lucien and the Kapoors, stating that he orchestrated the metal bug attack for his “movie.” (There is no movie, he’s just delusional.) He insists that The Ray be his movie’s star. At first he is dressed in a normal suit but transforms that into a red and black super costume. Then to motivate Lucien, he gives Chanti’s father a heart attack!
Ray attacks him, but the director is too powerful! He can seemingly do anything! The police only interfere when they arrive. Thaddeus causes their cars to transform into giant robots and wreak havoc. They nearly kill Lucien before unlikely reinforcements arrive.
This breezy series takes a dark twist this issue as the major threat comes forward. Lucien struggled in the past to learn to control his abilities, but so far, the threats he’s faced, mostly crazy giant monsters, haven’t exactly been life-threatening. How will he fare against such a powerful threat as Thaddeus Filmore? Things so far aren’t looking good! There are still glimpses of humor, but overall, this is a darker book than the last two issues.
Jamal Igle’s beautiful artwork continues to impress this issue. The Ray himself and the way he glows is so cool and eye-catching! Filmore is humorously designed, with a long scarf and wide riding breeches, like an old-fashioned movie director from the 1940s, filtered through the world of Tron.
This is a fun book! This particular issue is a bad jumping on point, though as the characters have already been introduced and fleshed out. There isn’t much done here to further develop them and a new reader would be lost. You have to have read the first two to enjoy this one. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’m going with…
Verdict: Borrow (But Buy if you’ve read the others, obviously.)
THE RAY #3
Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art and Cover by Jamal Igle