Bonus Review: Lucid #1

This review is brought to you by That’s Entertainment! It’s my local comic shop and Central Massachusetts’ best store for comics, video games, toys and all sorts of geekery. If you’re around Worcester or Fitchburg, check them out!

Lucid #1Lucid #1 by Michael McMillian and Anna Wieszczyk

“You’re telling me a religious cult that worships UFOs kidnapped one of our most gifted astrophysicists and stuffed him full of magic mushrooms to open a wormhole to another dimension?”

Archaia’s new sci-fi/spy miniseries feels new, yet familiar at the same time. It’s like I’ve seen all these elements before, though perhaps not all at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with mixing familiar ideas, after all, how many stories this side of Chew are truly fresh? But it also means you can fall prey to the same obstacles of each of the elements that make up the big idea.

Lucid marks Michael McMillian’s writing d├ębut (according to ComicBookDB). A quick internet search tells me McMillian’s day job is acting, with recurring roles on “True Blood” and a TNT medical drama called “Saved” from a few years back. (And check out the name drops on the credits page: Jeph Loeb, Tim Kring, Milo Ventimiglia and Zachary Quinto.) His dialogue flows well enough, but all his talk of “third eye neutralizers” and “chymicals” sounds cheap. When reading this week’s Invincible Iron Man, I could understand what Tony was saying about his suit. Much like someone describing how an airplane works, I can’t necessarily follow each step, but I can comprehend the big parts. In Lucid, it comes off as someone trying to sound sci-fi and failing because there’s no real science behind it.

A note on storytelling shortcuts: In the past, having a black president signified “the future.” With Barack Obama in office, we need a new signifier.

Anna Wieszczyk’s only other professional work is an entry in the fourth volume of Image’s PopGun series. Her character work shows some great variety, which is important when introducing a cast from scratch. Her colors break up the scenes well, but she has an over-reliance on photoshopped textures. It’s the sort of thing that can effectively change a scene’s mood, but when overused is a nuisance. I’ve seen this in other books before including another Archaia book, Titanium Rain.

I’d love to say that this book will be Archaia’s next hit or to give it a shot if you’ve got some extra cash. The book has no real problems and this first issue does raise some interesting plot questions, (Who was Agent Dee talking to in his apartment?) but right now it’s just not worth your four dollars.

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