Geiger #1 kicks off the high-profile indie series from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. The duo previously worked on DC’s Doomsday Clock, a series that overall fell short of expectations. Geiger #1 does the same.
Geiger #1 really should be called “Old Man knock-off”. The series focuses on the myth of a glowing individual out in the desert who survives the irradiated wastes without a radiation suit. We’re taken through the tragedy of a man who lost his family and was caught in a nuclear explosion leading to today.
The problem is, the setup doesn’t really help the story at all. Johns and Frank leave far too many questions that distract from the main story. It also feels like a retread of so many stories before. There just isn’t that originality or spark to make the debut stand out. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t deliver an interesting enough debut.
In Tariq, aka The Meltdown Man, we get an origin that’s been done to death, an individual caught in a nuclear explosion. With his family safely in a shelter, he’s caught outside to experience things along with attackers attempting to take over the shelter from his family. It’s a fine enough start but there’s no attachment at all. These aren’t characters we get to know. There’s little to feel sympathy for what they go through. Some racism is thrown in by the attackers in what I think is an attempt to do that but it falls flat overall. The attack too comes out of nowhere. There’s not a lot of setup, it just happens which causes a distraction. There’s a detachment with the story due to those two things.
Frank’s art is good. Along with Brad Anderson‘s color, the story is nice to look at. But, as presented we get a world that also doesn’t feel one and the same. There’s scavengers in irradiation suits, the Meltdown Man in his superhero gear, and then a kingdom… where they don’t wear suits? It’s all a little odd and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense visually. But, it looks nice. Rob Leigh‘s lettering packs in a lot as Johns scripts tend go dialogue heavy. It’s impressive how much makes it on to some pages and panels without issue. The only thing is one bit of dialogue at the bottom of a panel that feels like it’s cut off by the imaginary border.
Geiger #1 has a lot of good ideas. It just doesn’t present them well. There’s a choppiness to the story and a disconnect that has me not caring about the characters or what happens. It’s concepts without logic or heart. Maybe it comes together a bit more down the line but as is, this is a debut that doesn’t live up to the excitement and hype.
Story: Geoff Johns Art: Gary Frank
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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