In the second issue of The Ray, our young hero faces space Mantas and a species that's worthy of Futurama and Doctor Who.
The threat becomes personal when the enemy abducts Chanti, and how exactly do these things pertain to the mondo menace last issue?The Ray first deals with the Mantas. It's a nice little opener that spotlights the champion's intellect as well as his power.
Ray vs. Ray
As you can see, the whole battle scene as well as the numerous bystanders exhibit Jamal Igle's superb artistic ability. Guy Major's colors in this scene are very similar to his Buffy the Vampire Slayer shades. Although the Ray's special effects are unique, and quite arresting.
After dealing with the Mantas, we discover that the Ray, although thinking faster, doesn't have an off switch. The boneheaded tactic he takes when meeting Chanti's parents is seven suitcases full of stupid, yet perfectly acceptable given the way his superfast mind works.
The Indian ruse is a perfect one, but the idea is half-baked in the first place, and had Lucien stopped and thought things through — I suspect this will now be very difficult — he may have abandoned the idea.
Chanti of course reads him the riot act, and I'm wondering how she and he will explain to her parents exactly how he pulled it off, especially since they appear to be spying on him from the front window. They also seem to witness his transformation into the Ray. Palmiotti and Gray incidentally give the somewhat traditional Indian cultured parents quite a bit of dignity and flexibility. Although Chanti believes them to be stuck in a mind-set, judging by their dialogue and their behavior, they don't seem all that bad.
After that incident, Lucien's friend Darius and Chanti go to dinner. Darius attempts to assuage Chanti's heated opinion of Lucien, and it's funny how this encounter could be completely misconstrued by outsiders. By witnessing the interaction, you can see there's nothing but friendship going on. That includes when Darius does something quite brave to save Chanti.
The subtleties in the artwork are in complete synch with Gray's and Palmiotti's intent. It's just a perfect depiction with just the right amount of emotion emitted by the characters. That's not always an easy thing to do. I'm reminded of a scene in the old Now Comics Green Hornet series in which the setting, the timing and the dialogue all inadvertently facilitated the idea that Paul the current Green Hornet was in romantic love with his aunt. So, the collaboration is to be lauded.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.