Review: The Ray #4 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, & Jamal Igle

The Ray #4

Written by: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencilled by: Jamal Igle
Inked by: Rich Perotta
Colored by: Guy Major
Lettering by: Dave Sharpe

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): Last issue ended with Filmore and the new Ray (Lucien Gates) having their first encounter. Filmore beat Ray up pretty bad and killed Lucien’s girlfriend’s dad, and this issue starts with Chanti shooting Filmore in the chest.

The Ray is determined to fix everything, and every though he’s in agony, he works to stop Filmore’s robots from destroying the city. He confronts Filmore who has dropped to his knees, and is leaking energy from Chanti’s bullet:

Lucien realizes he can use the things his parents taught him to hypnotize Filmore to use his reality warping powers to fix Filmore’s messed up past and all the consequences from that. Lucien would be the only person who remembers everything that happened. Lucien also asks Filmore to fix his own timeline so that he has a second chance to impress Chanti’s parents.

In the new present, Lucien and Chanti going to the premiere of Filmore’s newest film “Ray of Hope.” In this new timeline, FIlmore didn’t live in his father’s shadow and was able to become a successful film maker of his own.

Lucien has to rush off as the Ray to stop some heroes, and is approached by someone respresenting the US government who seems to want to offer him a job. It ends with Ray considering this offer and saying:

Review: I did sort of feel the last issue of The Ray had some elements of a cheap cop out, but I also do think that it did incorporate everything we knew about Lucien and his background. So I am kind of torn about how I feel about this issue. I did like how Lucien got another shot at a first impression with his girlfriend’s family and the new direction Filmore’s life took because of Lucien’s actions. But at the same time, this conflict has been building for four issues, so having it solved by Lucien blowing up some robots and hypnotizing Filmore just left me a little flat.

At the very least, I was hoping we would get to see a little more with how their different views of the world (Lucien’s optimism and Filmore’s hopelessness) contrasted each other. I noticed that the two characters and their “weapons” both had a distinctly different look (Lucien’s bright form and his light weapons, and Filmore’s dark costume and robots) which I thought was really cool.

I just would have liked to see more of that in the plot too!

That said, The Ray provided a very different perspective to the superhero comic, and Gray and Palmiotti did an awesome job with this series. I think Lucien was a really cool character, and I hope that we get to see a lot more of him in this new DC. Not sure if he needs his own ongoing, but if they give him some backups in other stories or another miniseries, that would be awesome. I also would love to see him end up running into some of the other versions of The Ray. That was teased a few times in this book, and I was really curious to see that happen.

Throughout the series, Jamal Igle did a great job giving this book a very unique look, and that held through to this issue. I especially liked the way he showed how Lucien’s powers can be used for hypnosis.

Colorist Guy Major of course deserves a lot of credit for that awesome panel too.

One of my biggest complaints about comics is that new characters never really get a chance to get a foothold. I am really hoping that DC does a good job of keeping Lucien around and relevant. I really enjoy this character and this mini-series. It might have been better as six issues, and the ending did feel like a bit like the easy way out, but it really didn’t take away from my love of the series.

Final Score: 8.0 All in all, an excellent mini-series that did a great job of introducing a really cool new character that I hope DC does a lot more with. Wasn’t perfect, but it was still very good.

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