Written by Matt Ringel
Image is starting the year off with a bang, and their release of Geiger 80 Page Giant #1 is a strong start. Presented by Mad Ghost Comics, this issue is stacked with talented creators bringing only their best in wasteland wonders. Instead of a massive book focusing entirely on the Glowing Man himself, Geiger, we get a glimpse at some of the other characters in this world. In this issue, we get to know more about some of Geiger’s allies and the Warlords of Las Vegas, like Bonnie Borden and Mr. Karloff. The book also starts with a lead story that introduces the new character and series by Geoff Johns and Bryan Hitch called Redcoat. Redcoat is a mysterious immortal mercenary with a history tying back to the Revolutionary War.
Each story in the book comes with its own fresh look and feel as the creative teams change, and we get a taste of each of their different creative styles. There are ten different stories and two special features, including a first look at Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s new upcoming series Junkyard Joe.
The artwork in each story is incredible, with bright colors that contrast the stark wasteland landscape. Each story has its own character and vibe as the art team changes up each time. The styles change from the incredibly detailed art we’ve been seeing in the big comic companies to a more traditional style of comic and even a bit more of a cartoon look.
There isn’t really anything negative I can say about how gorgeous this book is other than maybe the artwork from the story ‘Goldbeard’s’ didn’t exactly fall in line with the tone of the book. That’s not to say that Sean Galloway didn’t bring some beautiful visuals; only the more cartoon style of art seemed out of place in the middle of a book of grim tales and visceral imagery. I suppose we could call it a palate cleanser.
The entire book was lettered by Rob Leigh, and he did a great job at giving each story its own voice. As with good lettering, it goes mostly unnoticed, but you’ll always notice the bad ones. The only one I wasn’t a huge fan of was in the story ‘Nero’ when he used a cursive font which I found difficult to read at times digitally.
The writing was really well done with compelling stories that took us through the alternative history and geography of Geiger. Tomasi and the other great writers brought us a huge world-building issue. We’re treated to some of the backstories, origins, and motivations of the allies and enemies of Geiger. Not all of the Warlords of Las Vegas are blood-thirsty villains like Karloff, as you’ll find out in the story ‘The Victims of Safari Bob.’ While reading, each story rang with the same kind of feel you come to enjoy in the Fallout series. The dialogue was fun to read, especially in ‘Who is Redcoat?’. I love the end of the world imagery of wandering the end of the world with your two-headed best friend.
Geiger 80 Page Giant provides readers with an apocalyptic roadmap for us wasteland wanderers reading the series. With a lethal radioactive wilderness surrounding Las Vegas, what happens there truly stays there. Will you test your might at Nero’s or risk it all at Karloff’s?