Time for another review!
This week is First Law of Mad Science, Vol 1: Work Until Your Family Is Sad. This book is written by Oliver Mertz and Mike Isenberg, with art by Daniel Lapham (inks of issue 3 by Lonny Chant), colors by Jeff McComsey and Oliver Mertz, with letters by Isenberg & Mertz. There’s no editor listed. The publisher is Noreon LLC.
As always, we’re using the Prince song system: Adore means buy it, Beautiful Strange means take it or leave it, and When Doves Cry means don’t buy it.
Let’s get into it!
I picked this particular book up at NYCC ’15. I was attracted to the title. It spoke to me, and when I saw the cover art, I picked it up. I already knew I was going to buy it, and as I was reading the back of the book, a guy in the booth tried to talk to me. He was an artist on one of the stories in the anthology that was also for sale, but he knew about the world. I read it, then I asked him to pitch it to me. (Yes, I’m not a nice guy. Like I said, I knew I was going to buy it.)
Here’s the lowdown: a scientist creates a thing called cyber-eyes. Picture it as an iPhone, but in your eyes/head. Lots of possibilities, right? It also has an astronomical adoption rate: about seventy percent of the population has it. One of the first test subjects happens to be the scientist’s son, so that shows just how safe it is, right?
Well, the first test subjects start seeing these green slug-like things. And so does the son. The mystery is what are they and why is he seeing them?
There’s a second mystery that’s actually tied to the first. The wife of the scientist is an archeologist, and she and her team have found something strange in Antarctica. Not only that, a creature of some sort has woken up down there, and is killing the team. And the company that’s financing the research there—Noreon—knows something and is covering it up.
Scientist father, archeologist mother…and there’s an android older sister to go along with the fully human boy.
The writing here was top notch. Really. You’re pulled in from page one, and things never really get boring. That’s a sign of great writing.
The art is also top notch. David Lapham knows how to wield his pencil, both in the things that an artist should know such as anatomy, planes, and perspective, but also in storytelling. There was never a point in time when I was lost, and that’s always a great thing.
The colors…I’m not a big fan of the palette. It seems very simple. There are times and places where it works (namely, Antarctica), but there are times when it just seems a bit bland. I wouldn’t have suggested such a simplistic palette for this book.
The lettering is where this fell down a bit. There are just a few issues of placement and punctuation in the first issue of the book, but as you get further into it, there is a distinct change in font size which is jarring.
The colors and the lettering are distinct areas where an editor would have proved beneficial.
Other than that, this book was an absolute joy to read. I want to know more about the story and where it’s going. Super science, ancient myths, mysterious creatures in exotic locales… I want more, and I want it now!
Final Verdict: Adore