Geiger #1: Geoff Johns' and Gary Frank's take on post-apocalyptic, creator-owned comics
Writer: Geoff Johns, Artist: Gary Frank, Colors: Brad Anderson, Letters: Rob Leigh.
The well-known DC Comics creative team of Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson returns, this time at Image Comics, to depict what the world is like after the bombs drop, bringing to life a mysterious hero who roams the post-apocalyptic wasteland, intent on protecting his family at all costs.
Some call him "Joe Glow," others call him "The Meltdown Man," but as readers, we are first introduced to the hero of this story as Tariq Geiger. A man that puts his family before himself, stashing them in a bunker in the face of impending nuclear annihilation, and perhaps the end of the world. And what better setting for nuclear armageddon than Las Vegas, Nevada?
Johns begins to weave this tale through the lens of two scared survivors sitting down for a campfire re-telling of the legend of "the man that can walk outside without a suit." We are told that "Everything he did, good and bad, was for family.
These opening scenes do well to build the legend of our hero, and continuously drop hints of the world that the creative team is building here. The story really touches on the emotions of what one would do to keep their family safe in the face of crisis. In the opening montage, readers are left wondering what has become of Tariq as the mushroom cloud of nuclear war envelops Nevada.
Flash forward twenty years and we get our answer in a big way. The creative team is able to capture the feeling of what it would be like to live in the ruins of a world torn to shreds by a nuclear attack. And we get a healthy dose of hints that this story may take a turn towards the horror genre, as some of the survivors take caution against their fears of the "Organ People" and the "Night Crawlers."
Brad Anderson's harsh color palate and Gary Frank's detail, almost allow you to smell the smells, and feel the heat of the scorched earth left behind by the radioactive fallout.
And what did happen to the story's protagonist Tariq Geiger? Well, it appears that he somehow survived a nuclear blast, transforming him into a complete badass that does not take kindly to trespassers.
As far as first issues go, this one did an excellent job of making the reader care about the main character, while also constantly raising questions on every page and foreshadowing things to come. The action was just about right, and although at times a bit wordy, the dialogue was spot-on in building the framework of who the hero was, and what he has become.
The protagonist is introduced briefly, and at the very end of the book I enjoyed an interesting storytelling device, introducing potential villains to come before they are actually seen on page, in a kind of "character bio page" closing out the issue.
As with any first issue's conclusion I always ask myself, is there enough here to make me want to continue reading this series? With Geiger #1 that is a resounding yes. If you are interested in post-apocalyptic/sci-fi/horror I would recommend picking it up.
Geiger is slated to be a six issue mini series from Image Comics with issue #1 and its multiple cover variations currently available at your local comic shop and on Comixology.