NOT The DCU New 52 Reviews: The First Law of Mad Science

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Braak, comic books
Tags: , ,

The First Law of Mad Science

written by Mike Isenberg and Oliver Mertz

art by Daniel Lapham

Mike Isenberg is a friend of mine, and that always makes for a leery proposition when it comes time to review a comic book.  Of course I’m always happy to help get someone’s name around, but what if the comic isn’t any good?  I have a reputation to maintain here.

Fortunately, The First Law of Mad Science does not present a problem in that regard.

The story goes something like this:  a (mad) scientist invents super-powered cybernetic eyes, that give everyone telescopic vision and eye camera powers and probably all kinds of other things.  They’re cheap and easy to install, and now half the population has them.  Also, it turns out they make you see weird slug monsters everywhere.  Who knew?

Hank is the estranged son of the mad scientist in question, and his family drama plays out against this backdrop of mad hallucinations, ancient underground civilizations, and robot teenage sisters.

Lapham’s art is rich and expressive — I actually prefer it to the cover art, which actually feels a little misleading.  And it’s dense; a lot of cats on their first books don’t have either the time or the inclination to really fill the frames that they’ve created.  That coupled with a nice use of layout means even the expositiony parts still have a sense of dynamism.

The book does feel a little heavy on the exposition, and occasionally a little clunky because of it, but I think this is primarily due to just how densely-packed this first issue is.  In just the #1, we’ve got:  robot eyes, murder, hallucinations, robot teenage girls, underground cities, corporate intrigue.  A half a dozen characters to read about, too.  Compare that to something so decompressed as, say, Supergirl — and you realize how nice it is to read something in which the writers are committed to giving you a lot of STORY, even if there are one or two parts with some rough spots.

(Also, 36 pages!  Worth the $3.99, or $0.99 digital version.)

First Law of Mad Science is at ComiXpress and WOWIO (? I don’t know what that is, actually, but hey, look!  Digital comics!); it’s also in Previews this month, and will be in for-real brick-and-mortar (and I guess steel and wood and asbestos) comic book stores in November.  Advise your local retailer accordingly.

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