X Reviews … The Ray #2 (of 6)

Since every comic is someone’s first, the books have to be able to stand on their own. X Reviews one new issue each week based on their own merit (and yes, “review” can mean spoilers!) A good story is a good story, no matter how long or short the run. This is where we draw the line for…

The Ray #2 (of 6)

story by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
art by Jamal Igle & Rich Perrotta
colors by Guy Major
letters by Dave Sharpe
cover by Jama Igle
published by DC Comics

“Never judge a book by its cover,” is a concept that many people never learn, while others learn it all too well. People are often taken in by a pretty face or turn of phrase, but are left unhappy with what they actually receive. As comic readers, we discover early on that the perceived reward from flashy wrapping does not necessarily correspond to the value contained within. This does not have to have a negative connotation, however, as illustrated in The Ray #2 (of 6) from DC Comics.

This candy bar’s wrapper is very dynamic showing the character both using his powers and striking a pose at the same time. Very vogue. Madonna would be proud. The cover here is somewhat deceiving however, in that it does not accurately display the nuts inside the package. Yes, there is an attack of flying monster stingrays, but no, that is not what the issue is about.

The main ingredient in this issue is main character Lucien Gates’ attempt to win the approval of girlfriend Chanti’s strict Indian parents. Does he do this by giving her parents a taste of his brand of personality? Perhaps allow them to sample why he, as a American-Korean, would make a suitable match for their daughter? Of course not. Instead Lucien uses his powers as the Ray to present a more please package to his potential consumers. Chanti does not buy into his attempted bate and switch, rather demanding he end his rouse and leave. FYI, flip-flops, not a good idea when meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time.  Book it!

The real action comes in the form of a science fiction type of alien attack. There is not a lot of explanation of who and what the invaders are, but where would the fun be in telling the readers up front? Instead, the attack happens while Lucien’s friend Darius attempt to repair the breach between our hero and his lady love. Who knows, maybe it would have worked. That is if the aliens had not taken her captive and got the hell outta dodge.

The Ray Limited Series is a very interesting take on a character that originally got it start in Quality Comics in 1940. Writers Jimmy Palmioti and Justin Gray have an uphill battle ahead of them trying to not only to introduce a new version of the character, but telling an interesting story in six issues. Since we are only concerned with the second issue, I give The Ray #2 (of 6) a solid B+. The main story was interesting as well as informative, showing that a girlfriend can make a hero’s life bumpy, much like a certain arachnid-based hero from some other publisher.

Dear Jamal Igle: I am hoping that the splash page at the end becomes the cover of issue #3. Now that is a wrapper I would buy!

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