Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review - String Divers #1 (@IDWPublishing)


"There are worlds within and without. And there are worlds within those worlds."

Science! It's the subject that needs more attention, but is losing out to other subjects these days. That doesn't take away from its magnificence in both imagination and solving problems. In String Divers #1 from IDW Comics, it's got a little bit of entertainment mixed in as well for good measure. The issue is written by Chris Ryall and Nelson Daniel, illustrated by Ashley Wood and lettered by Neil Uyetake.

Meet the String Divers! A renegade team called upon to save the universe from arcane threats at the sub-microscopic level! String theory made real, and real thrilling, in "Unified Chaos Theory."

The concepts in String Divers #1 are pretty fascinating, as Ryall and Daniel leverage Wood's creation into something blending science and fantasy. The String Divers are a group of individuals who wage war at the sub-atomic level and the way their origin is presented works really well. Ryall and Daniel throw the reader right into the thick of things with the String Divers in the middle of a mission and doesn't really let up from there. There's a brief lull in the action about halfway through that gives the reader time to catch their breath, but Ryall and Daniel don't waste much time in getting back to it. The end of the issue features a very strange twist that will clearly play into the future storylines, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense within the context of the first issue.

Presenting characters at a sub-atomic level seems daunting, yet Wood handles it very well. The String Divers all sport somewhat exaggerated and elongated physiques that fit with the notion that they're essentially pieces of string themselves. Wood presents the transition from sub-atomic to normal size fairly effortlessly, guiding the reader through the transformation via a series of pages that allow you to envision them growing to size. It's an approach that's done to really great effect and gives the book great contrasts between the two seemingly disparate worlds. Each of the various String Divers also boast a unique color scheme that makes them easily distinguishable to the reader, both in appearance and in terms of their talents.

String Divers #1 is a story that adds a touch of excitement to science. The concept of waging wars at a sub-atomic level is fairly novel and it demands the reader to set aside certain preconceived notions about enemies and opponents. Ryall and Daniel offer up plenty of snappy dialogue that moves along quite briskly, moving the characters into position for future issues. Wood's artwork is well-defined and is a creative rendering of what a battle at the sub-atomic level could possibly look like. String Divers #1 is a fast-paced first issue that demonstrates a lot of ambition for the series as a whole.

String Divers #1 is in stores August 12.

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