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

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

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 …

'Aberrant Season 2' Promises Twisty '80's Inspired Action When the Political Thriller Returns

A new, delightfully twisted story arc of the much-lauded political action thriller is coming to you this February!



Rylend Grant has been busy. The screenwriter – whom has previously penned poppy action fare for folks like Ridley Scott, Justin Lin, John Woo, and F. Gary Gray – spent 2018 writing movies for the likes of J.J. Abrams and Hamilton star Daveed Diggs. He also somehow managed to find the time to put together a deliciously evil five-issue sequel to his critically acclaimed comic book, ABERRANT.

“I don’t sleep much,” says Grant, whom is also raising a gleefully rambunctious two-year-old.

To add fuel to his bone-tired fire, Collider recently announced that ABERRANT is being developed for television by 24 and Felicity executive producer Tony Krantz.

“Tony is one of the smartest people working in Hollywood today,” said Grant, who will write the pilot and produce the series alongside Krantz. “He has shown a uniquely genuine passion and enthusiasm for the book. I honestly couldn’t b…

PREVIEW: 'The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers' HC by Francesco Francavilla

A series of unexpected disappearances and deaths hit Central City. Initially, these cases seem purely unrelated; no apparent connection between the victims makes it easy for the police to just file them as runaways or natural deaths. But when someone close to Ebony White disappears, The Spirit is on the case!


The iconic masked crimefighter created by legendary comic book creator Will Eisner returns in an all-new tale by Francesco Francavilla... Eisner Award winner, master of crime noir, and worthy successor to The Spirit’s legacy!
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers HC
writer: Francesco Francavilla artist: Francesco Francavilla cover: Francesco Francavilla
FC  |  128 pages  |  $19.99  |   Teen+ 












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: