Skip to main content

FCBD REVIEW: 'Relay' #0 by Zac Thompson, Andy Clarke and Dan Brown

Free Comic Book Day is always a great event that introduces some new and exciting books to fans who may not otherwise get their hands on them. 'Relay' #0 is one of those books that you need to experience to wrap your head around the concept. It's a multilayered sci-fi story that combines faith, conformity, and


RELAY #0
Writer: Zac Thompson
Artist: Andy Clarke
Colorist: Dan Brown
Story: Zac Thompson & Donny Cates
Regular Cover Artist: Andy Clarke

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: MAY 2018

RELAY #1
Diamond Order Code: MAY181312
On Sale: JULY 2018

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

In order to try and understand where writer Zac Thompson is coming from, you have to read the official description. "A story of community, religion, madness and the first planet to succumb to the universe's biggest paradigm shift. A weary space traveler arrives on a primitive planet lost in the dark ages. The shamanic tribe who resides there are unsettled and uncertain about their future. They rely on hunting and gathering to survive until the charismatic traveler offers a tantalizing and dangerous solution: The Relay. A Monolith designed to spread conformity of ideas, technology, and progress across all discovered worlds."

From a story by Eric Bromberg, Donny Cates, and Thompson, 'Relay' is a tale as old as time itself. It's an allegory for colonization and religious conformity. This stranger from space lands on this primitive planet and begins to teach them things to improve their way of life, earning their trust, long enough to demand they conform to the monolith, the Relay as represented by this tall dark tower buzzing with unknown energy capable of traversing time and space with a touch. They monolith will make their lives better, the stranger says, whether they want it to or not. The parallels between this and the spreading of Christianity around the world by colonizers over the span of history is undeniable and masterfully conveyed in the philosophical differences between the stranger and the tribe's shaman. 

Thompson presents a compelling argument from both sides until one's extremism overtakes the other. It's a fascinating premise for a comic book that provokes a thoughtful examination of what it means to be civilized when the approach to life is to have it conform to one idea as sacrosanct. This prequel ends with an ominous message that sets the tone for issues to come. How far will this stranger go to spread his ideology across the universe?

Andy Clarke provides the clear sharp lines that crystalize Thompson's vision. Everything on the page feels organic and realistic. Even the spaceship and the monolith itself come across as totally plausible with Clarke's attention to detail. Dan Brown's colors lend to the terrain of the sparse desert to the bountiful growth of green crops. The shots of the ship in the sky with a little lens flare are gorgeous. 

'Relay' is not your typical sci-fi comic, it has a definite point of view, a philosophy that carries the character's motivation throughout. It's a thinking man's comic if I can say that, full of ideas that could be interpreted as divisive but that's what makes this so compelling. The cherry on top is how beautifully illustrated it all is. 'Relay' is something AfterShock can be proud of and it shows its commitment to quality science fiction over merely sensationalized capes in space. 'Relay' is a quality read. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

INTERVIEW: Spencer & Locke’s David Pepose and Jorge Santiago, Jr. Talk Sequel, Film Adaptation and More

Suspended by Internal Affairs, Detective Locke grapples with the demons of his past alongside his trusty partner, his childhood imaginary panther Spencer. But when Spencer and Locke face a scarred soldier named Roach Riley, will this unlikely pair finally meet their match?




When 'Spencer and Locke' first launched back in 2017, it was a curious novelty at first blush. The premise of "what if Calvin and Hobbes grew up in Sin City" was cute and ambitious but how could it possibly live up to the beloved comic strip with the hard edge of Frank Miller's classic? The result was a triumph that proved to be more thoughtful and impactful than expected. The combination of a hard-boiled detective story told through the lens of PTSD while paying homage to some revered properties proved to be masterful in both execution and style. David Pepose and Santiago, Jr., had found the heart and soul of the story in real emotion while being an entertaining crime drama.

With its success a…

Here's the Dickon Tarly You Didn't See on 'Games of Thrones'

Ever since Tom Hopper stepped in for Freddie Stroma on this season's Game of Thrones as Dickon Tarly, preferred son of Lord Randyll Tarly (James Faulkner), he's made quite the impression and not just for the character's funny phallic name.
*Possible spoilers ahead if you haven't seen 'Game of Thrones' Season 7, Episode 5, "Eastwatch"
We've barely gotten to know him only that's he the dutiful and loyal son to crusty old Randyll and he's got a name that makes Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn) chuckle (and us too). The strapping neophyte on the battlefield seemed ready to break out on the show when this week his loyalty to his father led to some dire consequences. 
Conquered by Daenerys’s army and dragon, Dickon, Randyll and their fellow vanquished men stood before her. She gave them a simple choice join her or die. Too proud to bend the knee, Randyll chose to die instead of following Dany who he didn't consider his queen. So far so good. Then cli…