Rasl #2 finally arrived, and was devoured again and again and again.  What else is a reader to do until the next issue arrives?

rasl2cover.jpgAs Jeff Smith pointed out on his Boneville site, Rasl isn’t for kids.  Harsh language and Rasl and his female “friend” Annie getting it on, lets everyone know this isn’t going to be on the Scholastic top sellers for the pre-teen crowd.  That being said, for mature audiences there is nothing that offensive that detracts from the story telling, which once again, is really solid.

Rasl does spend a lot of time in the issue describing how he jumps from one parallel world to another, which may seem like a rehash of the previous issue, but I see it as an expansion on the knowledge readers have already discovered from the previous issue.  From everything I have read, listened to, or seen about jumping to another dimension, Jeff has done his work to make Rasl’s jumps based on known scientific explanations. Kudos to Smith for incorporating James Clerk Maxwell’s unification theory, not once, but twice in this issue.

I like the relationship Rasl has with Annie (as short lived as it is), and love the moment when Rasl has to rummage through her CD collection looking for Bob Dylan just in case he made a mistake and didn’t make it back to his reality.  The exchange does bring up an interesting thought – what if there are other Rasls out there?  Would there then be many more Annies he could re-establish his relationship with?

There is also the mysterious “they”, who have sent the Salamander Assassin after Rasl from the previous dimension.  Suddenly, instead of a story about stealing from multiple worlds, Rasl has become a thriller.

Best of all, Smith has made Rasl a real character with real motivations and foibles.  I don’t think we would ever see Superman kicking back in a strip club, or Iron Man humping his woman of the moment in the middle of the living room floor.  Using his scientific knowledge to jump from world to world and steal art, means Rasl is not perfect, but he does have his own ethics that work for him.

All of the characters in Rasl have a unique look to them, that makes it easy to tell one from the other, but if movie rights were sold, I wouldn’t expect to find any actors that look the part.  I still love the art style found in the issue as Smith does an excellent job of keeping the same look from issue to issue.  The only drawback to the art is the world Rasl inhabits still seems very empty; readers are not privy to many other NPCs, and even though we see an establishing shot of The City, the number of buildings along the streets seem few and far between as we get closer.  I’m sure this is done very deliberately to show the loneliness everyone experience, or some existential stuff like that.

The thing I am most disappointed in is the release schedule.  Instead of quarterly, I would much rather see Rasl get a monthly release, or in hindsight, release the entire story in one original graphic novel.

Jeff Smith has latched onto a formula that many others are discovering that could me huge sales for the comic industry – tell a great tale, based on scientific fact, that includes interesting characters, with none of them being super heroes. Rasl #2 does deliver another great chapter to the story, the art is great as expected, and earns a solid 4.5 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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