Review: Brainstorm #4
In the relatively short history of the sub-genre of disaster based stories, there has been a common problem. Generally speaking the plots are full of characters that are mostly one-dimensional based on the need to fulfill some role for the plot, and the antagonist is usually some out-of-control force of nature. This creates a dual problem, both in that there are not generally many heroic characters to get behind, and also that the villain is not a villain exactly, it is more of an unfeeling and uncaring force that has no control over its actions. Its actions might be seen to be bad by societal standards, but in effect it is governed by the laws of nature and it is not acting out of any malevolence.
The series Brainstorm addresses these limitations almost head-on and focuses on a completely different force-of-nature as an antagonist. As a quick rundown of the issues that have come before, the series has focused on a team of weather experts and their attempt to control weather, assisted by funding of the U.S. military. After the deployment of the first test into a hurricane, the hurricane goes wildly out of control, taking on a mind of its own. As the story unfolds, it is revealed that the storm does have a mind of its own, or at least partially as the nanotech which is meant to attack it has been assimilated, and that nanotech is partially based on the mental pattern of the series protagonist (or maybe anatagonist?) Cale. Far from a simple character, this is a man wrestling with his homosexuality, his dysfunctional family, and the inability to get research funding. At the opposite end of the stream is a U.S. president all too happy to bomb the storm to oblivion, while unaware that the extra energy is causing it to increase in size as it traverses the United States.
This is an interesting series thus far, and this fourth issue continues the momentum that has been built. The writers rely heavily on a harder approach to science in their science fiction as they have seemingly done an impressive amount of research into meteorology. While this adds to the realism of the story, it is not there where its strength lies, but rather in its novel approach to the disaster genre which seems to always make the same mistakes.
Story: Jeffrey Morris and Ira Livingston IV Art: Dennis Calero
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read
Future Dude and Comixology provided a copy to Graphic Policy for review