Story by Mariano Nicieza and Art by Sam Carlin
I’m not familiar with Nicieza’s writing as it was during the mid-90s and I was balls deep in video games. Same goes for Sam Carlin. Phazer didn’t particularly grab me with its nifty cover art by one Jim Steranko but I picked it up anyway in my vow to give more indies a shot. The story begins with scientist Mark Moreno being choked by an unseen alien force and Mark is bemoaning this turn of events. We get a slight origin story of Mark before his super transformation: he is the head scientist behind P.H.A.Z.E.R., a project designed to provide Earth with a cheap and non polluting energy source, a happy family man whose wife begs him to not go through with the next day’s experiments, and a willing father to don an old Halloween costume the day of the big experiment at work. Meanwhile, there is some shit afoot at the site of the experiment, leading an alien body to posses Mark’s boss, General Domingo. Mark wakes up to an empty house after a late night argument with his wife and writes her a quick note, saying he’ll resign after that day’s events. Of course, everything that can go wrong, goes wrong during the experiment himself and Mark is transported (in his silly costume) to an alien planet where he encounters Krauhzz, who explains in a violent rage everything that’s happened to Mark’s body during the experiment. End comic. I don’t know about you but I’m unsure how quickly I’d swallow any explanation an alien gives me as it tries to murder me.
Sam Carlin, what the fuck were you thinking when you drew Mrs. Moreno? The art isn’t amazing in this comic at all. The coloring is also lacking in that there are absurd shines to everything. Mrs. Moreno is at the top of my list of bad things because she’s drawn as if Carlin has some weird macho beer goggles on. Unless…Mrs. Moreno was once a Playboy bunny who had a secret life as an MMA fighter.
I’m leaning more toward leaving this comic on the shelf. It’s my first foray into comics by RZG Comics so I don’t even know if I’ll flip through issue two. If you’ve read this, what’d you think?