Rating: 3.5/5 – Remember when super-hero comics were fun?
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Chris Charlton has created a good old-fashioned fun super-hero comic in Binary Gray. It reminds me of reading comics in the 1970s and 1980s before everything got super-gritty and “relevant”. That said, you couldn’t drop this directly into 1978, there is some colorful profanity and the premise is modern day, as the main protagonist Alex Gray (in a very throwback super-hero origin) gains the power to communicate with electronics and get them to essentially do what he wants (within the bounds of possibility). That last part is key, I really appreciated that he was not able to suddenly make machines grow giant mechanical tentacles to grab bad guys. His ability seems limited to what would be possible once you accept the fact that he can somehow mentally communicate with the devices.
This series is available single issues or as a TPB collecting issues #1-6 (which is what I’m reviewing here). Singles and the collection are offered in print and digital form on the Assailant Comics web-site, and you can also download and read the 1st issue of Binary Gray for free. I really appreciate the “try before you buy” method and Assailant is to be commended for allowing readers to check out the story and see if they like it.
The main story here involves Alex Gray wanting to find the super-villain who caused the death of his father. We also get to see Alex interacting with the local super-team “The Virtue” with members The Cross, The Moth, Wing, and Dash, as well as the evil Agency, a spin-off of the CIA that seems to have a vested interest in hunting down super-heroes in general, and wants to get ahold of Alex in particular. Artist Rowel Roque struggles with perspective and proportion, particularly on exteriors and backgrounds, but otherwise the art moves the story along and has some good page composition and panel design to keep the story visually appealing.
This is an ongoing story, not a 6 issue series, so be aware that you will be getting the beginning of the adventures of Alex Gray in this volume, but not the end. The over-arching story pacing could have been a bit tighter so we got to a point with at least some partial closure at the end of issue #6, either that or hold off and do the collection up through #7 or #8 where there would be a good natural break point while still leaving more story to be told in the ongoing series. That said, this was a thoroughly fun to read story that brought back memories of a bygone era of super-hero comics when telling an entertaining story was the first order of business. Download the first issue for free and give it a read. See if you like it, I’m waiting for issue #7 myself, I want to find out what happens next!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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