This morning I read the first issue of Strange Attractors, the first issue of a new series from BOOM! Studios. The book is written by Charles Soule with art by Greg Scott and Sou Lee and it’s about math. It’s also about the resiliency of New York City as compared to places like New Orleans. We follow a mathematician named Heller Wilson who has a theory about the city and approaches Dr. Spencer Brownfield for help. The doctor agrees to help with Wilson’s theory in exchange for the younger man’s help with some other projects. And the whole thing starts with another mathematician named Jenkins committing suicide and ends with a flashback to 1981 as a younger Brownfield throws paper airplanes off the top of the World Trade Center South Tower.
The art on this book is rough and beautiful. It feels like New York. Very realistic and natural. Scott and Lee bring a gritty realism to the book. As for the story, I find it to be an interesting start to something, but at the same time I’m not hooked enough to look for issue two. Soule has me interested in the math and how it pertains to the city. I’m also curious about the suicide, the paper airplanes and the rat that Brownfield unleashed. But I don’t care about the characters yet. There are four pages in the middle where we meet Wilson’s friend Tim Hanson and learn that when Wilson is moody and distracted, women still want to sleep with him. The scene leaves me liking Wilson less, not more.
My bottom line review of the book is simple: it’s an interesting concept with good art, but the first issue is all set up and really gives me nothing that makes me eager for issue two. This would be perfectly fine in a trade as I would just turn the page and keep going. But as a first issue, it didn’t hook me. Very little information and story is give out and could easily have been compressed down to move the story along faster. The solicitation for the book gives away more than the first issue does. It could be a great story, but it’s not a good first issue.
Here is the original solicitation and preview pages for the book that comes out June 1st.
Strange Attractors #1 (of 5)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Greg Scott, Soo Lee
Main Cover: Greg Scott with Scott Newman
Incentive Cover: Ryan Stegman, Felipe Sobreiro
Dr. Brownfield believes that a series of cataclysmic events are coming to New York City, and someone has to keep the city safe after he’s gone. Enter Heller Wilson, a brilliant mathematics student, who discovers that his ailing, perhaps insane, mentor has been saving New York City from societal collapse by a series of “adjustments,” a la the Butterfly Effect. But now, all signs point toward an impending disaster. Can Wilson take what little he’s learned and save the city in time?