Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Comic Review: String Divers #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I first read it, I had no idea where String Divers came from. I had my suspicions, but it wasn't until looking into it later that I discovered that it was based off of a toy line. I don't say this in judgement, since I'll defend the possibility of good out of any source material, but to illustrate how knowing the genesis of something can explain so much about it.

For one, the look was very much like a cartoon from the 80s; I was mentally filling in the spaces between each page we were shown like a cartoon from that time, and it felt just right for the art style. It also had a lot of energy, like many of those cartoons did; even when not much is happening, there is still a lot of energy and enthusiasm behind things, making it feel exciting even when nothing was happening.

The concept for the series is also straight up bizarre, again feeling like something completely at home in this pseudo-cartoon. The series follows scientists shrinking down androids and sending them to interact with the "strings" in "string theory". I try to set aside the fact that the science in this would never work, since what matters in a story is its consistency with itself, but this doesn't make it easy. The concept is both bizarre and a little predictable, since many cartoons and comics like to use shrinking down to impossible things as a premise or plot point, this one just takes the idea further than most. While this issue was enjoyable, it was also kind of empty. There was very little characterization to anyone except for one of the androids, and even then it was barely enough to draw me in. I don't expect all the characters to be perfectly developed by now, but there was just nothing in the first issue for me to grab on to.

The whole premise and crazy logic of the story is also an issue that I have. It's not about the concept itself or it being bad science, but it's not even an interesting use of it. Small scale disaster in the tiny world of string theory turns into a huge disaster in our world, but not in a logical or otherwise compelling way; instead, it plays out like kind of a typical big disaster, which is not what I was hoping for here. If you like any of the things I mentioned, you might be interested in this comic, but I doubt that I'll check out any future issues myself.

If you'd like to see more, find this article and others like it at Word of the Nerd, and many thanks to them for allowing cross-posting.

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