First Impressions: THE RAY #1

I knew the minute I found out about this new Ray miniseries, I’d be picking it up. This is because one of the comics I have planned for a full video review is the first issue of the nineties Ray series. So now that this miniseries is out, it’d be a good time to talk about the Ray.

Originally a Golden Age superhero, the first Ray was a man who developed light-based powers after being exposed to a “Light Bomb” during a ballooning accident. Years later, his origin was retconned so that his powers were the result of a government plot to create a half-man, half-light hybrid that would act as a liaison with a light creature from space.

Believe me, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Anyway, that hybrid was the original Ray’s son, and he had his ongoing series during the mid-1990s. Since I’m going to go in depth about that in a video, I won’t waste time on that and just say that with the reboot, we’ve got a new Ray and his own four part miniseries.

It stars Lucian…last name unknown. Seriously, I read the whole first issue and no one bothers to give him last name. Then again, he’s also a resident of California and is the child of hippies, so for all I know he doesn’t have a last name. Regardless, he’s exposed to a blast from an experimental “Sun Gun” that gives him super light powers. It also makes it so he can’t wear clothes, so he has to manipulate light so people at least think he’s not nude.

This may seem weird, but the last Ray, again, was meant as a hybrid between human and light. Comic books are weird.

Oh, and there’s also this guy set up as the villain who’s basically if the director from Cannibal Holocaust used the Lazarus Pit to preserve himself in a roll of film, to be revived upon viewing later. I reiterate, comics are weird.

Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with weird. This was a pretty enjoyable first issue. One could tell that the writers were fully aware that they were making a miniseries instead of an ongoing, given that Lucian narrates about the reader probably not being interested in seeing him struggle to understand how his powers work. Or how those around him deal with him being a glowing man who can’t wear pants.

There’s another thing that’s refreshing: his loved ones are allowed in on the secret (as a result of him having to explain him never wearing clothes, but whatever), instead of being another obstacle for the hero to overcome. I haven’t seen this kind of thing since the current Blue Beetle’s original, pre-Flashpoint run. It’s too bad this is only a miniseries, or maybe I could have looked forward to what kind of antics this Ray would get into with his loved ones being on the same page.

Then again, I also wish the Justice Society of America was still in canon with this current continuity. Screw you, Jimminy Cricket, not every wish upon a star will be granted.

[EDIT (1/13/12): Well apparently, some wishes do come true. Squee!]

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